Second of a series of posts from
Dr. Ken Sulak, USGS, retired.
He is aware that Indian Trailmarker Trees are still speculative.
Maybe with enough examples we can all determine whether they are what they seem to be.
Please send pictures and locations of any trailmarker trees you may have seen, especially along old trails that crossed the Alapaha, Withlacoochee, Little, Suwannee, or Santa Fe Rivers, such as Old Coffee Road or various versions of El Camino Real.
Thanks for your reply. The trailmarker tree thing is an offshoot of
my research on historic settler fords, ferries and bridges.
Certainly early settlers traded with Seminoles and followed their
trails. This Motte map is one of the few I have encountered that
shows trails from GA coming into FL. There has also been more
published on the ‘Alachua Trail’ figured in the next map. But that
is of less interest to me because folks using that trail were
primarily headed to the St. Johns River area—a distinct
migration thing from the GA and SC folks headed for ‘Middle Florida’
where the best farm land and ample water was available.
I have been
trying to confine my studies and field explorations to that
area—but have inevitably gotten involved with what was
happening in S GA. I have made several foot and solo kayak trips to
the GA/FL border, and up into GA a bit now.
Many coming south from
GA crossed into Spanish FL at Warners (Beauforts, Hornes) Ferry over
the Withlacoochee, then headed south to Deadman’s Bay (Steinhatchee)
to boil down salt water to make several barrels full of salt to take
back to GA in wagons. This is one of the several ‘Old Salt Trails’
that later immigrant settlers used. All six of the so-far discovered
trailmarker trees fall right on one of the dotted trails in this map
Motte’s 1838 Seminole War map showing trails with dotted lines.
Warners Ferry or Horn’s Ferry was near where the current Horn Bridge is over the Withlacoochee River just upstream of State Line Boat Ramp and the GA-FL line.
I asked Ken a few questions, including: Continue reading