Here’s the first of a series of posts from Dr. Ken Sulak,
USGS, retired, whom you may remember we’ve quoted before about
sturgeon jumping in the Suwannee River.
He’s got several new pursuits that entwine with Suwannee River Basin rivers,
and he’s asking for your assistance.
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.
WWALS riverrats –
While exploring old bridge and ferry sites along the Suwannee River
and its tributaries, I have encountered five unmistakable Indian
Trailmarker Trees (and Brack Barker has shown me a sixth). I won’t
say I discovered these, because some human first shaped each, and
thousands of Indians and early settlers used these manmade landmarks
to navigate through South Georgia and Florida’s 27 million acres of
seemingly endless and trackless primordial Longleaf Pine Forest.
Sure, there were Indian trails that the settlers also followed, like
the Alachua Trail and the Old Salt Road (plural). But that was not
necessarily easy. No welcome to Florida signs back then, no road
signs, no road maps, no GPS — although the sun and stars
provided compass directions.
Trailmarker Trees, How To, and old map
The noted naturalist Herbert Stoddard came to Florida with his
family as a small boy in 1893. Florida became a US Territory in
1822, with settlers arriving in droves thereafter. But even as late
as 1893, there were few real roads to follow. Stoddard recalls:
“Came a long ride in a horse-drawn wagon over bumpy, one-track
roads through the longleaf woods … They were crooked as snakes,
for every time a pine tree fell across the road, Continue reading