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Oroville in Butte County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

The Last Yahi Indian

 
 
The Last Yahi Indian Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, April 6, 2009
1. The Last Yahi Indian Marker
Inscription. For thousands of years the Yahi Indians roamed the foothills between Mt. Lassen and the Sacramento Valley. Settlement of this region by the White Man brought death to the Yahi by gun, by disease, and by hunger. By the turn of the century only a few remained. Ishi, the last known survivor of these people, was discovered at this site in 1911. His death in 1916 brought an end to stone age California.
 
Erected 1966 by The California State Park Commission in cooperation with the N.S.G.W. Argonaut No.8 and N.D.G.W. Ophir No.190, January 29, 1966. (Marker Number 809.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Native Sons/Daughters of the Golden West marker series.
 
Location. 39° 30.739′ N, 121° 31.267′ W. Marker is in Oroville, California, in Butte County. Marker is at the intersection of Oroville-Quincy Highway and Oak Avenue, on the left when traveling east on Oroville-Quincy Highway. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2547 Oroville-Quincy Highway, Oroville CA 95965, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
The Last Yahi Indian Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, April 6, 2009
2. The Last Yahi Indian Marker
At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mother Orange Tree of Butte County (approx. 0.9 miles away); Northern California's Oldest Citrus Tree (approx. 0.9 miles away); Site of the First Flour Mill (approx. 1.6 miles away); Site of 1st Sawmill (approx. 1.6 miles away); Oroville Masonic Temple (approx. 1.7 miles away); Completion of 4th Railorad in California (approx. 1.7 miles away); Oroville State Theatre (approx. 1.8 miles away); Edison Building (approx. 1.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Oroville.
 
Regarding The Last Yahi Indian. This site was designated as California Registered Historical Landmark No.809 on October 5, 1965.

Statement of Significance:
- Ishi, a Yahi Yana Indian, was the last of his people. Prior to European contact, the Yana population numbered approximately 3,000. In 1865 Ishi and his family were the victims of the Three Knolls Massacre, from which approximately 30 Yahi survived. The remaining Yahi escaped but were forced into hiding after cattlemen killed about half of the survivors. Eventually all of Ishi's companions died, and he was discovered
The Last Yahi Indian Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, April 6, 2009
3. The Last Yahi Indian Marker
by a group of butchers in their corral at Oroville, August 29, 1911. Alfred L. Kroeber and T. T. Waterman, anthropologists at the University of California, Berkeley, brought Ishi to San Francisco where he helped them reconstruct Yahi culture. He identified material items and showed how they were made. Ishi's death in 1916 marked the end of an era in California.
 
Also see . . .
1. ISHI - The Last Yahi. (Submitted on April 7, 2009.)
2. Ishi – Apparently Not the Last Yahi. Like many historical teachings that we have all grown up with which are now proving to be more myth than fact, it appears that Ishi may not have been the last surviving Yahi after all. (Submitted on April 7, 2009.) 

3. Ishi is discovered in California. This Day In History entry. “Authorities took the mysterious Indian into custody for his own protection. News of the so-called ‘Stone Age Indian’ attracted the attention of a young Berkeley anthropologist named Thomas Waterman. Gathering what partial vocabularies existed of northern California Indian dialects, the speakers of which had mostly vanished, Waterman went to Oroville to meet the Indian. After unsuccessfully hazarding words from
Ishi image. Click for full size.
Bancroft Library Collection, 50
4. Ishi
several dialects, Waterman tried a few words from the language of the Yana Indians. Some were intelligible to Ishi, and the two men were able to engage in a crude dialogue. The following month, Waterman took Ishi to live at the Berkeley University museum, where their ability to communicate gradually improved.” (Submitted on August 27, 2011, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.) 

4. Ishi, The Last Yahi (Video). One hour documentary by Jed Riffe and Pamela Roberts. “For young anthropologist Alfred Kroeber, Ishi’s appearance was a windfall. Kroeber had been searching for years to find ‘wild, uncontaminated Indians’ who could document their traditional way of life. Through Kroeber’s invitation, Ishi left a jail cell and lived out the remaining four years of his life as an informant and teacher at the Museum of Anthropology in San Francisco.” (Submitted on August 27, 2011, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. 20th CenturyLandmarksNative AmericansNotable Persons
 
The Last Yahi Indian Marker State Historical Landmark Directional Sign image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, April 6, 2009
5. The Last Yahi Indian Marker State Historical Landmark Directional Sign
Located on the Oroville-Quincy Highway
Projectile point of knapped bottle glass, made by Ishi, 1911-1914 image. Click for full size.
August 29, 2011
6. Projectile point of knapped bottle glass, made by Ishi, 1911-1914
Ishi made this arrowhead from a bleach bottle while he was living in the Museum of Anthropology. He gave it to a six-year old boy who was recovering from a broken leg at the hospital next door. - From the interpetive panel at the Ishi display in the California Museum in Sacramento.
Fur cape blanket, belonging to Ishi's family. Yahi - early 20th Century image. Click for full size.
August 29, 2011
7. Fur cape blanket, belonging to Ishi's family. Yahi - early 20th Century
This was amongst the belongings taken by ranchers on November 6, 1908, when Ishi's camp was discovered. The blanket is on display at the California Museum in Sacramento.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 3,528 times since then and 257 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   6, 7. submitted on . This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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