Winter brings mulligrubs
ASHS Column for 02 01 07
You say you’re de-
from cabin fever,
got a severe case
of the mulligrubs?
All of these recent
gray, cold, drizzly
days just do us in,
but be of good
cheer. These, too,
shall pass. Meanwhile
cruise past the James
Houston Jones Historic
Park and take a good
look behind the Leach
Things have been
happening there. By
the time you read this,
the golden spike was to have been driven where the rail line should have been completed for the return of Old #100. But neither happened as we thought last Saturday, due to some unforeseen circumstances.
But soon our beloved engine will be proudly perched there with its tender and the boxcar trailing along behind. Our new little building should be completed, though and we’ll start on its painting soon, weather permitting.
Oh, these are heady times for the Society and for the entire area where many engine people will come to help with the restoration and to swap old engine stories. Viewing this sight and visualizing what is to come should lift your spirits out of the doldrums, so come on out!
It has been a long time since the last column from the "Winding River Road," so here comes another segment for your enjoyment.
* * *
After visiting this place ("Old Indian Graveyard Community") recently and making a careful examination of it I am convinced it contains many more graves than the few Spaniards and Negroes purported to have been buried there curing and shortly after the Spanish Occupation. It is definitely known that one slave owner during the 1840's and 1850's brought to this community a number of Negro slaves to be used in clearing and cultivating large areas of the low flood plain of the Escambia River valley. The project was a failure.
Many of the slaves died probably from malaria contracted while working daily in the river swamp where they were bitten continuously by swarms of mosquitoes and were given no medical aid. They were buried in this cemetery. It is my candid opinion that the place does contain the last resting place of the bodies of many Indians buried there before the Spaniards occupied the country.
What has been referred to during the past sixty years as a little cemetery is located close beside the Winding River Road approximately an hundred yards west from the old home site of Grandfather Neil Campbell. It is on the north side of the road almost directly on top of a high hill overlooking toward the north and west the great low flood plain of the Escambia River. It is indeed a burying place full of natural scenic beauty.
Rather definite traditional information indicates that this cemetery was established during the Spanish Occupation and several Spaniards were buried there before Florida became a part of the United States and a few afterward. This same source of information shows a few Negroes brought here by the Spaniards were buried in this graveyard. It also indicates a number of Negro slaves who were run-a-ways from Alabama or were stolen are buried on this hill.
Until recently I had supposed, as many other people who have casually passed by the place, that it contains the last resting place of not more than half a dozen bodies. However, recently I visited the place and made a careful examination of the area for several feet in all directions from the half a dozen visible graves. There is no doubt but what the cemetery is the burial ground for many more bodies than a casual glance indicates.
These three small cemeteries, like the two large ones, reveal much of the early history of their respective communities. They contain no inscriptions on grave markers to be read and contemplated. Yet, the little mounds of earth and shallow depressions when gazed upon in contemplative thought, mutely disclose pages of history to the careful observer. They show the burial ground of a pioneer people in a primitive state.
These little mounds and shallow depressions show a people once lived here close to nature, a people who really loved the great wild fascinating woods. This is only a stage in the early American civilization. They were the Abrahams and the Daniel Boones who went ahead and bore hardships for the benefit of those of us who came after them.
* * *
For those readers who have just recently begun to read the Society’s columns and for those long-time readers who have lost track, the "Winding River Road" accounts in the Tri-City Ledger columns are on our web site (http://www.algersullivan.org/columns2005.html) and are certainly worth referring to in order not to be too confusing with our only occasional reports.
Be sure to continue your subscription to The Tri-City Ledger in order to keep up with what is going on in our area and with what went on in our historic past.