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.
Long ago, before the white man came to brand her hills with restless roads, the territory later know as Walton County, Georgia, was blanketed with luxuriant forests. Here undisturbed grew the stately pine and crimson-berried holly, the hickory, great oak, and sassafras with its strangely multi-shaped leaves.
Fruit of the persimmon, cherry, and plum ripened in the dappled sunshine, and, in due season, the chestnut, and its relation, the chinquapin, released their rich, well-guarded prizes. Here the featherly cedar and the willow thrived; tulip tree, sugar maple, black and sweet gums, elm and ash thrust leafy arms skyward. In less abundance stood the birch, iron and sour woods, the black jack oak, tooth-leafed alder, and brilliant wahoo; and, in the spring, as now, legendary dogwood bloomed.
An occasional snowfall was etched with tracks of buffalo, deer, rabbit, racoon, mink, and turkey, and also with the footprints of their foes, the wolf, bear, panther, fox, and wildcat. Goose, partridge, and dove winged overhead, and droves of wild passenger pigeons often darkened the sky.
Threading the fertile bottom lands were undisciplined little streams, later known by such friendly names as Little Sandy, Grubby, and Jack’s Creek. Through the northeastern extremity of the region murmured the river known by native red men as the Tulapocca, by early whites as the south branch of the Oconee, and finally by the caption it bears today, the Apalachee. Though origin of its present name is unknown, its logical to surmise that a group of Apalachee Indians, brought from Florida in the early 1700’s by South Carolina Governor James Moore, moved from the Savannah River below Augusta to settle on the banks of this local stream and thus gave rise to its permanent appelation.
Branches and rivers afforded rewarding yields of trout, jack, perch, cat, sucker and eel. Fairly teeming with fish was the Ulcofauhatchee, meandering in a general north-south direction through the western portion of the Walton territory. Some of the marshy ground along its banks was source of an edible wild potato from which is believed to have derived its name. Hatchee was the Indian word for stream, and Ulcofau-hatchee probably meant bog potato stream. At any rate, through the white man’s erratic spelling and slurred speach, the Ulcofauhatchee gradually became the Alcovy.
to be continued…………………..
*Be sure to check back with Your local News regularly for a continuation of this series.