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Indian Sign ?

Discussion in 'Wilderness & Survival Skills' started by KBamhi, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. KBamhi

    KBamhi

    209
    Jan 26, 2011
    I was scouting the Lake Russell WMA Broad River area in North Georgia on Saturday looking for a hike in campsite. While I did locate several sites the abundance of knats currently in the area will prevent me from camping there next weekend. While scouting we came across several documented homesites which were bought out by the government back in the early 30's. One of these homesites had a rudimentary map of the home location and several other surrounding landmarks. One landmark point out was a tree that grew vertical, then horizontal, then vertical again. The 8 children who grew up in this home many years before called it their horse. As a side note, another 4 children in this family were lost as infants due to the flu epidemic around 1918 and are buried at a nearby cemetary. As adults they discovered that previous to their occupation in this area the Cherokee Indians would sometimes train trees to point at locations where water could be found. This tree points directly to a spring located not 50 yards away at the bottom of the hill. Hiking Buddy.jpg
     
  2. Joezilla

    Joezilla Moderator- Wilderness and Survival Skills Moderator

    Jul 22, 2005
    I've heard about these trail signs before. Not sure if yours qualifies or not, but they are out there. How old did the tree look?

    http://www.trailtree.com/Tree.htm
     
  3. Codger_64

    Codger_64 Moderator Moderator

    Oct 8, 2004
    Cool. A dendrologist could do a core sample and tell the age of the tree to see if it was possible. Sometimes old trees fall on saplings and cause them to deform like that.

    ETA: Since the Cherokee removal occured in 1838-1840, the tree would have to be over 171 years old.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  4. Very cool if true, beautiful area nonetheless.
     
  5. Codger_64

    Codger_64 Moderator Moderator

    Oct 8, 2004
    FYI, the Cherokee weren't the only people to use bent trees as signposts in the woods. White travelers and settlers picked up the custom. It was also used after the war by the KGC as one of their many signposts for caches. The KGC is familiar to most dedicated treasure hunters and a lot of Civil War buffs. There is some evidence that Frank and Jesse James were members.
     
  6. Tuxdad

    Tuxdad

    423
    Feb 15, 2008
    I think the term for them was a trail blaze... Read a bit about them in "wildwood wisdom" by Ellsworth Jaeger.. There were a number of variation on these native american signs, from the use of stones, to notches cut in trees, the bending of trees.. Pretty interesting stuff..

    Thanks for sharing the pics and info !! :)
     
  7. KBamhi

    KBamhi

    209
    Jan 26, 2011
    The tree was evidently well established around 1900 when the residents were children and played on it. It could be a couple hundred years old but I have no way of knowing for sure. When the government took over this area in the early 30's most of the homes were dismantled with little documentation. Interested folks years later have been trying to piece together the history of the families that once flourished there.
     
  8. KBamhi

    KBamhi

    209
    Jan 26, 2011
    Thanks for the link Joezilla. I am going to have to spend some time on that site later.
     
  9. KBamhi

    KBamhi

    209
    Jan 26, 2011
    Codger, come to think of it I recall reading about an individual who was reading and decoding signs, many which still remain on trees throughout the south, which led to caches of weapons and sometimes gold buried during the civil war.
     
  10. Erasmus

    Erasmus

    Jul 15, 2002
    "Tree training." :)

    I've got my hands full trying to get my Labs to mind.
    Trees around here pay us no mind.
     

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