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The African-American Heritage Committee was formed by a collaborative effort between the Historical Society and the Genealogy Committee to answer a need for the collection and preservation of African-American records and data. Though it is such an immense task to reconstruct all that was lost from the beginnings of Georgia until the reconstruction after the Civil War, it is our sincerest hope that we will be able to reconnect families to their past.
Evidence of Washington County’s earliest inhabitants, the Creek Indians, can be found still today. It is not uncommon to find old pieces of Indian pottery along the creeks and steams while trekking through the woods of Washington County. Even as late as the 1990s, an entire canoe dating back to early Indian inhabitants was found floating downstream in Washington County. The name "Creek" was given collectively to the different groups of Indians residing in this area because they were always found living along the creek beds and streams where they had an abundance of fresh water and fish as well as plentiful animals to hunt. The accepted theory for the presence of Indians in Washington County is that they came as waves of immigrants who wandered here from the west seeking new hunting grounds and plentiful supplies of herbs, roots, nuts, berries and fish.
Many of the trails that the Indians used during their seasonal migrations have been incorporated into Washington County’s roads. As a general rule, the roads led along high, dry grounds in the low country and followed the straightest line between two points. Mrs. Gracie Stubbs of Warthen, Georgia related stories that had been passed down through her family for generations of the seasonal migrations of Indians on foot with their meager possessions pile high on horse drawn travoises. The trail that they followed led south toward the vicinity of present day Warthen and onward towards the Oconee River crossing that later became known as Balls Ferry. Stretches of Highway 15 in northern Washington County also lie along this early Indian thoroughfare.
Although the Indians were eventually removed from Georgia to a reservation in Oklahoma, some were left in Washington County. Most of those who remained had married into local families and chose to stay with their family. Some Washington County Citizens can trace their ancestry back to the Creek Indians. Others have been handed down stories of Indians in their line that can neither be documented nor dismissed. Even some of the places, creeks, streams and landmark names in Washington County echo the voice of the inhabitants of the past.
|This Page was Created July 2008 | Last Modified Saturday, 26-Jul-2014 12:48:04 MDT|
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