Friday, January 29, 2010

Indian Campground

Many of the places on the K-Bar are very visible, but some require some imagination. The Indian Campground falls in the latter column. I will also refer to it as Indian Village or even Indian burial ground to make it fit a story.
Actually, this was something we did not know existed until fairly recently. The village is on a tract of land we did not own until the 1980's. We knew it as a walnut grove, and it touched part of the existing ranch. After Dad and my brother Bil purchased this tract and logged the pine timber, one of the foresters we knew told us that the walnut trees that were present was a strong sign that Native Americans had camped and lived in the area. This was easy to believe;there are no other walnut trees even close. Therefore, we summarized, the trees were planted, and because of there size and age they must have been planted several hundred years ago. Or, at least there parents were.
The area was well known by both Dad and Uncle Al. The village was very close to where Hottel Creek and Bluff-off Creek merge. The alluvial bottom land was, (and still is) full of river cane, Myrtle, and other evergreen plants that range animals lived on during the winter. The stock men of the area would come to this area for winter roundups. Now the area is full of wild hogs and deer that eat the same vegetation. Uncle Al remembers that one of the last of the range hogs lived there. The old sow was a real old fashioned rooter, and was protective of her little pigs. He was a little scared to be in this area un-armed.
I have told the village tale several times. When it looked like the I-69 road project was coming directly through the ranch, I inferred that the route would disturb an Indian burial ground, therefore needed to be moved. The project is on hold, so for now the place is still somewhat sacred.
Dad was a good storyteller and told us bedtime tales when we were young. One of my favorite serial pieces was of a young Caddo hunter/warrior. Dad was very smart and knowledgeable of the native tribes, but when he created and told these tales he did not know of the village. When I explore the area now, I can easily imagine that this was the village of that Caddo family, his description was spot-on.

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