Tag Archives: Old Coffee Road

Trailmarker Tree Trails 2020-11-04

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.

[Old Trails]
Old Trails

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

[1838 Motte Seminole War trail 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

Old Coffee Road, Georgia

The Google map of locations on Old Coffee Road was used by many of the early settlers of south central Georgia, including in the watersheds of the Willacoochee, Alapaha, Withlacoochee, and Little Rivers and Okapilco Creek. It crossed all those and other waterways by ford or private ferry: there were no bridges back then.

Old Coffee Road map, WWALS.net
Follow this link for the interactive google map.

The Georgia Historical Commission erected markers at half a dozen locations in the 1950s and 1960, reading: Continue reading

Old Coffee Road across Alapaha River

Many of you know Julian Fields, retired forester, very knowledgable about many things around south Georgia. In this video, he’s showing people where Old Coffee Road forded the Alapaha River. I haven’t been able to find a map of any age that shows that ford. However, given that Old Coffee Road in Berrien County goes as far as Rowetown Church Road, I’d guess either Rowetown Church Road is where Old Coffee Road crossed the river, at Rowetown Church Cemetery, or it was somewhat upstream. Does anybody know?

Julian Fields

Or I suppose I could just ask Julian. Here’s the video: Continue reading