Tag Archives: Georgia Rivers Creeks & Lakes

Williamsburg Landing, Wayne County

Near this location on the Sansavilla Bluff* of the lower Altamaha River, circa 1737, it is believed that Coosaponakeesa operated a trading post in proximity to an early frontier garrison of Georgia Rangers known as Fort Mount Venture. Coosaponakeesa, known by her English name, Mary Musgrove (c. 1700-c.1763), was the most important woman in the early history of the colony, her assistance to General Oglethorpe integral to its very existence. Her English and Creek heritage uniquely positioned her for work as a translator and entrepreneur, bridging the gap between the Native American world and European settlers. Andrew K. Frank suggests…As Pocahontas was to the Jamestown colony and Sacagawea was to the Lewis and Clark expedition, so was Musgrove to the burgeoning Georgia colony.

“Angel” Tree at Williamsburg Landing

Native American history is an evolving field and new discoveries continue to alter and improve long-held narratives. While they may seem contradictory, I have linked various sources in this post, to show the changing scholarship. I encourage you to visit them for more information.

*-Sansavilla Bluff is a geographical feature which follows the south bank of the Altamaha from the Paradise Fishing Camp through the Sansavilla Wildlife Management Area to Altamaha Regional Park at Everett.

Brickyard Branch, Long County

Brickyard Branch is located on the edge of Ludowici, bordering both sides of US Highway 301. It’s part of the Altamaha River floodplain.

It’s named for the brick and tile yard of the Ludowici Celadon Company, which in turn gave the town its name, early in the 20th century.

Branch is another term for swamp [or creek]. A typical Southeast Georgia landscape, reminiscent of the Okefenokee Swamp, it’s characterized by brackish streams, ponds, and prairies.

Though not a publicly accessible area, it can be viewed from the highway right of way in several locations.

No other river in Georgia that I know has floodplains as extensive as the Altamaha, which reach over ten miles from Jesup to Ludowici.

It’s very important for wildlife and native plants, many of which are found in greater numbers here than almost anywhere else.

Most of the area is protected, be it by wildlife management areas or private ownership.

Top Ten Posts of 2022

With nearly a million views, these are our most popular posts of 2022. Thanks for traveling with me and for making all this possible.

#1- House Creek Boils, Wilcox County

#2- Apartment Houses, St. Simons Island

#3- Peches Stand, Putnam County

#4- Elizabeth Durden House, 1840s, Emanuel County

#5- Hunter’s Cafe, 1951, Shellman Bluff

#6- Package Store, Jeff Davis County

#7- Best Biskits by a Dam Site, Hartwell

#8- Flint River Diving Trees, Meriwether County

#9- Amanda America Dickson House, 1871, Hancock County

#10- Stonewall J. Williams Plantation, 1880s, Screven Plantation

Whitewater Rafting, Columbus

Columbus, like Georgia’s other Fall Line cities, is defined by a dramatic shift in elevation [124 feet over a 2 mile stretch], and its lifeblood has always been the Chattahoochee River. Historically, the river’s waters ran freely over rocks and shoals and were known as the Falls of the Chattahoochee. Chutes de la Chattahoutchie, an 1838 painting by the French naturalist Francis de la Porte depicted a wild and scenic waterway and the river retained this wildness until it was dammed by Eagle and Phenix Mill [1882] and City Mills [1907] to provide the power which made their industries possible. Smaller dams were built earlier in the 19th century, but did not have the impact of the aforementioned examples.

The Falls of the Chattahoochee vanished as the mills grew over time. In the mid-2000s, a plan to breach and remove those dams took hold in an effort to make the Chattahoochee wild again and provide new tourism opportunities for Columbus.

The breaching of the Eagle and Phenix Mill dam in 2012 and the City Mills dam in 2013 brought back a resource which had vanished over a century ago. The Falls of the Chattahoochee, which had been important to the area since the days of Native Americans, once again flow through the city and have created what has been called one of the best urban whitewater runs in the nation.

The river reclamation has been a driver of revitalization in Columbus, and while I generally don’t make endorsements, I would direct you to the experienced folks at Whitewater Express.

They’ll gladly take you on an amazing adventure if you’re of a mind to get wet and get your adrenaline flowing.

Whether you’ve never done whitewater or you’re an old pro, they will make your experience worthwhile. It’s a great day trip if you’re in the area.

Yam Grandy Creek, Emanuel County

The name of this creek has always fascinated me and I don’t think there’s agreement on what it means. It’s possibly based on a Native American name but I just can’t find anything about it. I somehow don’t think it’s related to sweet potatoes. A relatively small stream, it rises northwest of Swainsboro and joins the Ohoopee River near Oak Park.

White Chimney River, McIntosh County

Originating in swampland east of Young Man Road in northern McIntosh County, the White Chimney River [also referred to as White Chimney Creek] flows southerly for several miles before joining the Sapelo River. I haven’t located an origin for the name, but would presume it to be related to an early house or other landmark with white chimneys. Seems logical, but who knows…

The White Chimney River is surrounded by marsh and hammock on both sides for most of its brief course.

This landscape is typical of estuaries along the Atlantic seaboard.

In the southeast, they generally feature palmettos, oaks, and cedars.

A web of smaller creeks feed into the river from all directions.

Like the rivers they support, they are dependent on the tides.

These estuaries are integral to the abundance of marine life that attracts fishermen to the region.

This floating dock is located at Cooper’s Point, now part of a residential development bordering the White Chimney River. It’s a private dock, but anyone can access the river at the White Chimney Creek Boat Ramp on Shellman Bluff Road. The river is particularly known for its abundance of Spotted Seatrout. Croaker is also common.

Oysters are also dependent on the estuarine environment and are quite abundant along the banks of the White Chimney River.

Clarks Hill Lake, McDuffie County

This man-made lake, now officially known as Lake Strom Thurmond, retains its original designation as Clarks Hill Lake in Georgia. Its creation was made possible by the construction of the Clarks Hill Dam near the confluence of the Savannah River and the Little River in 1952. It is the third largest man-made lake east of the Mississippi River and provides abundant recreation and fishing opportunities for residents and tourists alike.

This view was made on a western section of the lake, near the old town of Raysville. The lake is bordered by McCormick County, South Carolina, and Lincoln, Columbia, McDuffie, and Wilkes counties in Georgia.

Kinchafoonee Creek, Lee County

Rising near Buena Vista, Kinchafoonee Creek flows southeasterly for nearly 92 miles before joining the Flint River at Albany. According to Ken Krakow, the name is Creek for Bone Mortar or Mortar Nutshells, which referred to a device for cracking nuts. The creek [longer than many rivers] was such an important artery in the early settlement of the area that it gave its name to Kinchafoonee County, which was later changed to Webster County.

Flint River Diving Trees, Meriwether County

Most of us who have grown up swimming in rivers and creeks are familiar with rope swings tied to trees that have a good reach over the waterway, and occasionally, we see impromptu ladders added to make the climb to the top easier. I shot these several years ago near the Meriwether County Landing on the Flint River and I think they had more steps than any I’ve seen.

I really didn’t know what to call them other than “diving trees”. They’re really more for jumping than diving, especially when the rivers are low. I don’t think there’s any consensus as to an official term but they’re a thing down here in southern Georgia and I thought these two were perfect examples.

Nails Creek, Franklin County

This lush stream rises in the Appalachian foothills a few miles north of Homer in Banks County and flows northeastward into Franklin County before turning southeastward and joining the Hudson River. All of these waterways feed the Broad River and its three forks.

Nails Creek was an important location in the development of industry in the region. J. D. Cromer had a sawmill, gristmill, and gin mill here in the late 19th century and this likely supported other small businesses, as well.