Rock piles in the Altamaha River

Discussion in 'GEORGIA RIVERS TALK' started by Guthooked, Mar 21, 2007.

  1. Guthooked

    Guthooked New Member

    Messages:
    344
    State:
    Ga
    Last June I went fishing in the Altamaha with an old timer in an area called Hell Shoals. It is in a stretch of the river in between Tattnall and Appling counties. Since the river was extremely low there were huge piles of rocks that were visible. There were some that were just under the surface of the river and were not visible until you were right on top of them. My fishing partner said that he was told years ago that Indians indigenous to this area placed the piles of rocks in the river in order to make fish traps. Has anyone else heard of this? Here are a couple of pics.
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c354/czshooter/Fishing005.jpg

    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c354/czshooter/Fishing002.jpg
     
  2. Gator

    Gator New Member

    Messages:
    1,116
    State:
    Ludowici GA
    Yes I heard of this it is said that the rock piles act as a gate to hurd fish into the traps.
     

  3. Cuda-Cada

    Cuda-Cada Member

    Messages:
    748
    State:
    Jacksonville, Fl.
    I was fishing a catfish tournament this past weekend up that way. Usually where I fish downstream, there aren't many rocks. I thought the rocks added even more beauty to an already beautiful river....
     
  4. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    According to old men in my childhood,this was a "Wing Dam" built so that Lumber rafts and River Boats could navigate at low water.It makes the shallows narrow and deeper.This is just a very old and primitive form of what they build today.They were also built in Maine to get timber to Saw and Pulp mills in low water.A northern fleet was stranded on the Red river during the Civil war and used "Wing Dams"to rescue the stranded fleet.Wikipedia has info. on them,but they claim that they are built in reverse to the old ones that I have seen or talked about with old men who remembered the last of the Steam boats and who's fathers and grandfathers rode and worked the Log Rafts and Steam Boats.What was there before?Who knows."Indians indigenous to the area"Sounds better to the "Townies with a degree who normally write the history",than "Redneck River Boat men" wanting to make a buck by trafficking with Lumber City at low water.A truthful report of ancestral greed does not stand a chance against a false "historical"one of native americans.I got my story from old folks who's ancestors were there.If you will notice the wings are back wards to a fish trap.Just pick the story you like.I love you Brothers and Sisters.peewee
     
  5. r ward

    r ward New Member

    Messages:
    2,954
    State:
    Kathleen G
    Always good to hear from you Peewee now you gone and got me wondering think I'll reserch it
     
  6. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    The above was my unfinished post I was working on.I hit the wrong button and posted it,tried to retrieve it and took too long.I meant to say that the wings were often made both ways and that they are often back wards to a fish trap.I also wanted to state that both could very easily be right.A wing dam could have been very easily built out of a fish trap.The needed location for a wing dam,and the building materials were right there if it was a fish trap.I am 61.I first heard of it and others when I was 14 from a 90+ year old man who's family had worked the last of the river boats according to him.I later talked to my stepfather "Vernon Hodges" and his boyhood friend "Nathan Slater"who were raised up in the area around Ludowici.Both are now deceased.They verified hearing both stories,but said the river boat and river sawmill families laughed and claimed the wing dam explanation.My stepfather bought a mule and went to work building the old 301 causeway across the Altamaha.Nearly all of that dirt you see on that old causeway was hauled one load at a time by a Man,a Mule and a dirt bucket.He said that "every man that could get a mule flocked to it".He said it "was a great job and great wages for the time".He also said it "was about the only job and wages available for the time".He claimed this was his motivation.He "went and learned to operate a Crane and Drag line and spent the rest of his life doing it with no regrets".I was also told that "crews went down the rivers and trimmed and removed major obstructions at very low water".Even "blasting with powder".I think people back then were a lot better at using Black Powder and Bees Wax for underwater blasting than we wish to give them credit for.These were the major routes for all heavy freight until the railroads replaced them.You can tell how far the Steam Boats went up every river by the locations of the citys where they were unloaded and the cargo transfered to wagons and pack mules.I always loved history and loved to hear the old folks talk about old times that they lived and that had been passed down to them.Most loved to talk to the few kids that would listen.By reading the old books that were written by people at the times things happened I also found that history changes very much with time as each person adds or interprets their own thoughts and ideas as they write the latest book.I guess they change it or it would be the same old stuff that someone had already written.Many of our history books of today are far different than the ones written at the times things actually happened.It seems that writing a popular and financially rewarding story has been a greater incentive than facts for many throughout the history of the written word.Please let me know what all you find out.We will never know for sure how the rivers were before they were altered,as most of the evidence has been destroyed.There have been hard working and resourceful people earning a living along the rivers forever.I don;t look for things to change.I love you Brothers and Sisters.peewee
     
  7. r ward

    r ward New Member

    Messages:
    2,954
    State:
    Kathleen G
    Thanks Peewee for helping keep history alive by the above post it was great
     
  8. georgia_hunter

    georgia_hunter New Member

    Messages:
    7
    State:
    Georgia
    I have always heard around here that the rock piles were from old ferry's, I have always been intrested in the older things so this new information was very informative. Thanks for sharing...
     
  9. pk_powell

    pk_powell New Member

    Messages:
    3,485
    State:
    Missouri
    Your post was very interesting thank you very much for posting it!:big_smile: