Monday, July 2, 2012

The Trail of Faith

The Trail of Faith to the Memorial Marker of Marshall Bare
by Douglas and Aldene Poole

The Lord's hand is constantly involved in finding genealogical information for those we work diligently to locate and whom we testify are helping us, from the other side, to find their information.  Locating Mr. Marshall Bare's memorial marker is another example of the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, "Spirit of Elijah", at work among us living.

The background:
In the summer of 2011, Aldene and I with two others, Elder Andrews and Emily, a TA (teaching assistant) from the BYU-Idaho Family History Center, drove to the head of Birch Creek in Lemhi county, Idaho, along Idaho Highway 28.  Our goal was to ride our ATVs to search in the desert for a cemetery that Elder Andrews had seen, off in the distance when he had been fly fishing at Birch Creek.  After about an hour of fun hilly desert riding we found the cemetery, which was called the Barzee Cemetery.  We carefully cleaned around the headstones and took pictures.  After which we did a little more exploring, were taught fly fishing by Elder Andrews and went home tired and dirty but happy.  At home we edited the pictures and added the internment information and pictures to the Internet on
We know there are many other graves of miners and settlers in the desert from the early days.  Most are not maintained or even marked therefore are hard to find and even harder to identify.

The guided discovery:
At a ward party in the spring of 2012, we sat at a table with a couple from our ward.  During the conversation of the evening we mentioned looking for graves in the Birch Creek area.  We were informed that the brother’s dad had worked many years in that area and the gentleman, as a boy, had spent sometime in the area.  He asked if we had taken pictures of Mr. Bare's grave.  “No, we had not even heard of it.”  He explained that Mr. Bare had owned a ranch in the Birch Creek area and when he died the family received permission to bury him on his land.  A few years ago this brother had been riding his ATV with a group and they had viewed the headstone.  He could not remember exactly where it was but thought it was about 1/2 mile up Pass Creek on a hill.
Child's Grave at the old Nicholia Town Site
On June 27, 2012 Aldene and I pulled our camp trailer and two ATVs to Birch Creek, camped at Kaufman camp area, with the idea that a missionary couple, Elder and Sister Browning, would come the next day, Thursday, June 28th and we would go riding looking for burial locations.  Elder Browning has a book, "Between these mountains: History of Birch Creek Valley, Idaho" by Pearl M. Oberg, which was published in 1956, regarding the Birch Creek area which tells of many burials.  As we rode the dusty desert roads and trails, we found but one grave site, it was at the old Nicholia town site, now part of a ranch, but it was not identified. Being a small grave site we assumed it to be for a child.  The rest of the day we rode to Viola mine, 2000 feet up the mountain, and down Willow Creek but found no signs of other grave sites.  We enjoyed our 60 mile ride in the beautiful high country.  We cannot think of a more enjoyable way to search for grave sites than on ATVs in the mountains.  After enjoying cold watermelon that evening Elder and Sister Browning returned home.
Friday, June 29th, Aldene and I stayed in the camp trailer, she had her crafts and made birthday cards for the kids and grandchildren and I had my old computer and edited pictures of our family we had scanned earlier.  About 4:00 pm we decided to go riding in search of the Bare grave site.  Crossing highway 28 we found a number of old dirt roads and trails to ride through the desert to find Pass Creek Road.  All along the way we were looking for the grave site.  We were assuming it would be fenced in and have a large headstone, but alas it was nowhere to be found.
After 14 miles we came to the start of Pass Creek road along highway 28.  As we sat there perplexed, wondering what to do next we noticed a group of 4 cowboys setting on their horses.  They were about 100 yards off the road and were talking to a man in a pickup.  Since they were in the tall dry sagebrush we dismounted our ATV's and walked over. As we approached, one of cowboys greeted us and we asked if anyone knew of a grave up Pass Creek.  They all looked a little puzzled until the man in the pickup, spoke up and said he did not know of a grave but there was a memorial marker for his great uncle, Marshall Bare, on up the canyon.  We were very excited.  Marshall had been cremated and his ashes spread over the ranch.  Marshall loved the area so his friend, who owned a monument company, made a marker and put it by the corral.  When we expressed a desire to see the marker he looked as though we were a little weird but explained that the marker was about three miles up the road by the old branding corral. 

Memorial Marker in the Sagebrush
His directions were to follow the road for about three miles and then turn south, left, just before the corral where we would see a small pile of yellow dirt.  The memorial marker would be close to this dirt pile.  After thanking him for the information off we rode, coming to a fence with metal panels which we thought may be the corral but it was only at 2 miles.  So we continued and at 3 miles we saw a real corral.  Seeing the little trail about 300 feet for the corral we turned left and drove to the small pile of yellow dirt, got off the ATVs and looked and looked and walked all around but could not find the marker.  Finally I took my ATV and drove up the old dry creek bed to see if I could notice the memorial up the hill, no luck.  As I was gazing around, Aldene waved me back; she had found the marker about twenty feet from the dirt pile in the only direction I had not looked. Aldene is the spiritual one, always has a prayer in her heart as she searches.  After explaining to the Lord, that it was getting late and if it be his will that we find the marker please direct her. Moments later she walked out into the sagebrush and came upon the marker.  It turned out to be a flat marker hidden in the sagebrush.  Not on a hill, at most on a little bump, with no fence or protection. We brushed, washed, and trimmed back the sagebrush before taking pictures of it and the surrounding area.  We will put it on, as a memorial marker of someone that was cremated.  We will also check on and make sure the information is there for a relative to find and do his temple work, if it is not already completed.  As you may have noticed stories get changed as they are passed on; from a grave with a headstone, on a hill, 1/2 mile up Pass Creek to reality; a memorial marker of a cremated person, 3 miles up Pass Creek on the flat about 30 feet from the creek.

As you follow the steps and the timing that lead us to the marker, may the Lord open your understanding and strengthen your testimony of his hand in family history work.