By permission from the Walton County Historical Society, Your Local News will bring to you in a series the glowing history and interesting development of our county, Walton.
Springs were conveniently located, and, in this favorable environment of ample water, abundant game, moderate and healthful climate, good soil, and an unlimited timber, the early Indian built his ehoti or chuko. This hut or home was later referred to by frontiersmen as “hootie” and “chookie.” Swapping stories around a bonfire, singing and dancing, pitting his brawn and skill against that of his comrades, the coppery-skinned native reveled in his simple but satisfying existence.
Legend says these red men, who occupied territory from the Savannah River and Atlantic Ocean across middle and south Georgia to the Alabama and Coosa rivers in Alabama, were of western origin. They were sometimes called Muscogees, which was the name of their leading tribe, but, as time passed, they were more frequently spoken of by the English name of Creeks, possibly because of their habit of dwelling near small streams.
Creek Indians were tall, intelligent, fine looking, and quite athletic. They might kill women and children while on war expeditions, but were never known to torture or rape. In fact, most Indians entered into a period of purification before going on the warpath. Their confederation, which probably existed before the advent of the white man, was composed of several tribes: the Hitchitees, Uchees, Alibamos, the dominant Muscogees, a few Natchez, Chickasaws, and Shawnees. An offshoot of the Creeks, the Seminoles, lived in South Georgia and Upper Florida.
When Oglethorpe sailed up the Savannah River in 1733, the Creeks welcomed him and agreed to give Georgia all the land between Savannah and Altamaha rivers as far up as the ebb and flow of the tide, retaining only a small tract where they might camp when they went to visit. Tenaciously our ancestors clung to their frail footholds along the coast and slowly pushed their ways inland.
Divided into two groups, the Creek’s upper division, which included the red men of Walton region, dwelt from the middle Chattahoochee River area of Georgia westward into Alabama along the Tallapoosa and Coosa rivers, while the Lower Creeks were centered mainly on the Chattahoochee southward from present Columbus, Georgia. Upper and lower divisions usually acted in unison. To the west were the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations, on the east the English settlements, and southward lay the Spanish outposts and scattered tribes of the Florida peninsula. To the north was the land of the Cherokees, a stocky, settled, hunting-farming people, who accepted the ways of the white man more easily than did the Creeks.
to be continued…………………………..
*Be sure to check back with Your local News regularly for continuation of this series.