Flood waters revealed Indian graves
ASHS Column for 4 5 07
Margaret Collier

     Bring out the wet noodles,
folks, 'cause I am due a sound
lashing. In my last column I
gave the wrong date for our
annual Birthday Bash, so now
let me emphasize that this gala
event will be held in the James
Houston Jones Historic Park on
Saturday, April 21 - that's "21,"
so mark it on your calendar right
     Monday, March 26, Bob
Callaway, Don Sales and Jerry
Simmons met with the powers-that-
be in Tallahassee to present
our petitions for two different
grants. The first was for initial
funds for restoration work on
#100 after its return and the
other was for assistance with
Museum operating expenses. We
appreciate their taking the time
and effort to make this trip on
our behalf.
     Sandy Collier and Don Sales
are still waiting to receive your
pictures, anecdotes and, oh, yes,
your fondly remembered recipes
for the hearth heritage cookbook.
The ones already received have
absolutely whetted both our
literary and stomach appetites,
so do send yours in. We hope to
have this ready before our Fall
event in the Park.
     Met up with Raymond Green at
Jack Pruitt's office. He has a
couple of stories that we hope to
bring to you as soon as we can
get him to nail down the main
points for us. Also, any of you
who have stories from our area's
past, be sure to let us get them
in print. Word of mouth has a
way of just fading into oblivion,
so don't let that happen to the
oral history that you know.
     Don Sales and I enjoyed the "Show and Tell" meeting with our sister society in Brewton (The Escambia County Historical Society) on Tuesday, March 27. Don showed the egg X-ray machine from The Leach House Museum and I had two large tintypes that had hand painting added.
     Others had documents, unusual silver pieces, pictures, and even a navy generator, complete with gas can, oiler, starter rope, and all manner of accouterment.
     'Twas a most interesting meeting, but next month they are planning a field trip to Keego and Herrington Springs, so that should be equally intriguing. If you aren't a member of that Society, you should look into the possibility of joining. Check out their website at www.escohis.org for a membership application.
Lest you completely forget the "Winding River Road" saga, I'll slip in a bit more about the cemeteries along that historic trail.
                                     * * *
     There are no doubt many other graves scattered up and down the area of the Historic Winding River Road besides those in the cemeteries (last mentioned). It was a common custom in a frontier country, such as this area was, for isolated pioneers to bury their dead near their home, be it a cabin or a mansion, in some favorite beauty spot where members of the family might go and sit beside the grave in meditation. No permanent markers were placed to identify these graves.
     Hence, the elements of time soon removed all means of locating them. No doubt many Indians were buried up and down the Old Indian Trading Trail near their villages or tepees on high bluffs along clear creeks or near large springs. We have definite proof that Indians had their villages located along the streams and it was their custom to bury their dead not too far from their villages.
     They always selected a location surrounded with natural beauty where the family members of the departed ones could commune with natural beauty and where the souls of the departed ones could commune with the Great Spirit undisturbed.
     Not many years ago during a great flood in the Escambia River a portion of a high bluff near the Mims Island log and timber landing washed away. Shortly after the flood waters subsided several bones and skulls were observed protruding from the edge of the bank, not far from the old location of an Indian village.
     It is well known that many Indian villages were located on high bluffs along many creeks near the Escambia River. Naturally, we have reasons to believe that each village had its own burial ground at some nearby grove of beautiful hardwood trees, twining flowering vines and shrubs producing flowers full of dainty colors and attractive.
                                    * * *
     One of these days we'll conclude the River Road story with descriptions of the flora and fauna.

Helen Holder - 1923
For many of you former Century High School students, Mrs. Leon (Helen) Mosley was a daily presence in the principal's office. This photo is her when she was the unmarried Helen Holder, one of the teachers in charge of the CHS class of '23.
(Picture courtesy of Gwynn Akin-Bowers)

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This page last modified on Sunday, April 01, 2007