Archive for July 6, 2012

Big Spring   Leave a comment

Above:  Northeast Georgia and Northwest Alabama in 1823

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From Leaves in the Wind, pages 10-11

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At the left of the highway north of town has been a remarkable, crystal-clear spring at the foot of a majestic tree.  (The tragedy has been that in the name of progress and business, this spring has been covered and the tree cut town.  Over the years this spring supplied many travelers with a refreshing drink, slaking their thirst with its cold, pure water.  Numerous stories have been told about this spring, but there is one that I remember vividly.

My father often told the story told to his father of the early settlers’ seeing Indians driving into this spring at the foot of the tree and of their later being seen at Fort Payne, Ala.  Many believed there was an underground passage through limestone caves to the Alabama side of the mountain.

The limestone cave theory for this northwest area of the state was proved years ago with the white man’s discovery of numerous caves in this section.  A more modern proof came when a large portion of the highway caved in just in front of what is now Jackson Chevrolet place.  As long as this hole remained open, Big Spring, several hundred yards down the highway toward down, was muddy.  When the hole was finally covered and the highway repaired, the Spring cleared.  Limestone, we know, is abundant in this area, as is evidenced by the large number of cedar trees throughout the country.

Certainly, this northwest section of Georgia was Indian territory.  Names bear out this fact:  Chattooga, Chickamauga, Catoosa, Armuchee, Oosstenaula, Etowah, and many others.

JOHN DODSON TAYLOR, JR.