Named after a blind woman who was a part of the forced march of coastal American Indians, the Amanda Trail connects Yachats and Cape Perpetua. In 1855, President Franklin Pierce established the Coast Indian Reservation, which stretched one hundred miles from Cape Lookout to the Siltcoos River and twenty miles inland. However, with the influx of white settlers farming the north coast and searching for gold in the south in 1864, those in power became fixated on rounding up all American Indians.

Amanda had been living with a white farmer, and together they had an 8-year-old daughter. Despite this connection and her being “old and blind,” Amanda was forced to walk from the Coos Bay area, north to the Yachats area. During the grueling journey that was nearly a week-long, many women and children dropped from exhaustion and lack of food. Navigating the basalt chasms at Cape Perpetua with the help of a boy, Amanda’s feet were torn on the ragged rocks, “leaving blood sufficient to track her by.”

Today, in a grotto near the northern end of the Amanda Trail, a statue honors her. In a brief video created by OPB, Doc Slyter, a member of the Tribal Council of the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians, recounts Amanda’s story.

For more information about the Amanda Trail, read this post of John Sparks on the Trailkeepers of Oregon website. Details of the march are from the journal of Corporal Royal A. Bensell, which has been published under the title: All Quiet on the Yamhill: The Civil War In Oregon.