90 Years After the Flooding of 'The Post' the LCO Band Holds a Rememberance

By KBJR News 1

August 2, 2013 Updated Aug 2, 2013 at 9:49 AM CDT

Hayward, WI (NNCNOW.com) --- It has been 90 years since a man-made dam flooded a village inhabited by the Lac Court Oreilles band of Chippewa near Hayward.

On Thursday descendants came back to honor the last 2 surviving members.

Phyllis DeBrot is now 94 years old and Sam Jockey is 91, making them only 2 and 3 years old when their village, along what is now the Chippewa Flowage, was destroyed.

Rusty Barber, the Vice Chairman of the band, says that they're remembering 90 years of sorrow.

"90 years is a long time, and we don't want our history to be forgotten. Ya know we have our youth running here, we have our elders, Sam Jockey one of the old elders here and then Phyllis DeBrot, that have pictures over here of what it looked like prior to, and during, and after, and this is the result here," said Barber.

In 1923 The Wisconsin and Minnesota Power and Light Company constructed a dam on the Lac Court Oreilles band's land that was known as "The Post."

The flooding forced the band to relocate a few miles to the west, to a village which has since been called "New Post."

"Some of the people were also elders, so I just imagine what they went through having to move that late in life," said Timothy DeBrot, Grandson of Phyllis DeBrot.

John Baker, Director of the New Post Youth Center says that the band wasn't given enough time to move.

"There's still graves out there. There is a church island, there is an old church foundation, there's headstones still out there. There's bones being found on islands and stuff. Ya know, campers find them all over, and no one knows about it," said Baker.

The band never approved of the creation of the Chippewa Flowage and lost their "Post" village.

Their burial grounds and wild rice beds used to lie on the island.

There is no camping on the island, but band members frequently return, as this group did to mark the anniversary...and to remember.

Today the land attracts thousands of anglers, as well as many nature lovers for the spectacular scenery.

Elsa Robins