sand mountain society

The Story of the Charity Ann Noble

Charity Ann Noble (1856-1875) was young pioneer woman who married James P. Marks at the age of 17.  Just two years after they were married, the young couple encountered an early Autumn snow storm while crossing Santiam Pass.  To make matters worse, poor Charity Ann went into labor and died in childbirth somewhere east of Fish Lake along the Old Santiam Wagon Road. 

As the snow melted, James Marks eventually forged his way on to Fish Lake, whose way station was the closest thing to "civilzation" in the region at the time.  Charity and her infant are buried just west of Fish Lake Guard Station beside the Old Santiam Wagon Road.  Her grave site is marked with an interpretive sign.

In the early 1990s, local Forest Service officials doing maintenance on her grave site came to realize that -- when Charity was buried -- a nice view of the Three Sisters was to be enjoyed from the spot.  In the 110 years since she had died, Douglas-fir trees had grown up to block the view of the snow-capped peaks.  Using great care, some trees were topped to re-open the view of the Three Sisters from the grave site.

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