And the Thunder Rolls

d n english

And the thunder rolls

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Last night as the storms were crossing South Jackson the thunder not only woke me up but stirred up childhood memories. 

First let you give you some family history as I was told as a child.

My Grandfather English being the oldest son brought his mother to live with him when she could no longer care for herself. So I had the privilege to get to know her. My Great aunts told me  since I was always at my grandparents’ house  I was by great grandmother’s side.Great grandmother wanted me to call her Pokni which in Choctaw meant grandmother

Let’s go back to the first story she told me since I had red hair or chestnut as Grandfather said. She had the same color hair and wanted to let me know where we got it. She also explained we came from a long line of healers and storytellers.

This is the story I was told while sitting by her side. She like me had gotten to know her Great Grandmother (Pokni). Pokni  started her life in what we know as Northern Mississippi living in her Choctaw tribe. Because her hair wasn’t like the other young girls she drew the attention of the French fur trader. It’s not known if she was traded or purchased out right. Either way she ended up the wife of the trader. He brought her back to his trading post where a church lady who helped run the post when the trader was gone took her under her wing and renamed her Mary. The lady taught her how to read, write, do her sums and dress.Since she really did not fit the look of an Indian she could pass. The sweet lady made sure the trader did right and married Mary. They lived a long and happy life having six children (4 daughters and 2 sons).  One of the daughters married a survivor and moved to what we know as North Carolina. It was not long until they moved back to the new area of Tennessee where my great grandmother’s mother was born. Great grandmother fell in love a young farmer married him and moved to West Tennessee. She and my Great grandfather English  raised their family in West Tennessee. Because my Pokni loved learning she sought out  her family, their history and their stories.  She passed her love for knowledge of their history to her children so they could pass it to their families.

That being said I come to the story I was told by Pokni on one very stormy night. Her best stories were about nature, the storms, the spirits of the woods and the shift shapers of the past.  (I will do a story on shift shapers later).

This night grandmother had taken me from my bedroom upstairs to the “fainting couch” in Pokni’s bedroom . I remember the storm was so strong the thunder seem to shake the house.

Pokni softly started the story 

“Do not be frightened.” She said I assured her I wasn’t she knew better.

“Mother Nature wants us to beware of her power. She brings the rain to water the earth the thunder, lightning and the wind to thin out the forest. Some say our ancestors are up in the heavens throwing rocks in a game and when they hit another rock the lightning lights up the sky. So do not be afraid just think of the fun they are having.”

Then she would start singing a song her Pokni had taught her in Choctaw that wished the night  be filled with happy dreams.

I remember that night and so many more days and nights filled with stories. 

When Pokni died my Great Aunt Dorthy and my Grandfather would answer my questions and tell me more stories of the past. 

To this day the storms do not scare me with their loud thunder and bright lightning. I send a prayer to my ancestors. 

Do not get me wrong I respect the storms of course.  I cannot help but wonder if our ancestors are disappointed with how we have treated Mother Earth. Maybe just maybe they are attempting to get our attention to do better and respect what we have.


Good Friday afternoon
dn english 

This morning I heard a blip of Dolly Parton’s new song “Don’t’t make me come down there”. According to one reviewing the song it’s about God looking down on earth discouraged by what he sees.
This reminded me of a Granddaddy English story. It was in the 1950’s a beautiful Sunday morning after the Baptist church service . Now let me explain this as Grandaddy did to me he was born and raised Methodist and Grandmother was raised Baptist. He was born in 1895 and she was b in 1900. When they were married in 1921 is was decided Granddaddy would become a Baptist. Have I mentioned my Grandmother was a very strong opinionated woman Granddaddy did not stand a chance.
I once asked him why he became a Baptist he looked at me 
“Honey the way I see it we pray to the same God. Now the way I see it if I am a good, caring person and believe in God it does not what matter what church pew I sit in on Sunday. Besides it made your Grandmother happy. I love that lady it is my job to care for her and make her happy.”
Back to this particular Sunday morning it had been a trying day at church and Grandmother was all a flutter. We had been sent outside so she could finish lunch and so she could “think and pray”.
We were on the back steps under the kitchen window and could hear every word. She was in full prayer . We could hear “Dear God forgive so and so ,Dear God guide so and so” you get the jest.
Granddaddy took my hand and together we walked to the front yard.
After a bit he looked at me and smiled.”Honey I wonder if God looks down after hearing all the request and shakes his head and says
“That does it I am changing my name.” After he said that he just laughed
Seeing the puzzled look on my face he hugged me “I was kidding we know God is always there for us.”
I thought of that conversation many times and wondered the same thing especially in today’s world.


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Good day today I want to share with you a story that was shared with me over thirty years ago. The lady who honored me with her story was a retired college Professor living in the Lambuth area. 

When I met Miss Lillian she was 71 retired and still mourning the lost of her sister.

The day was clear and warm for a December morning so we were sharing a cup of hot chocolate on her back porch .

Miss Lillian was laughing and sharing memories of her sister and past holidays. Then she got quiet I looked over and I saw a tear on her cheek. I reached over and held her hand.

“Sweet girl may I share my thoughts of being an invisible person.”

She asked. 

Being at a lost for words I just squeezed her hand.

“My sister and I never married. I came close but he was killed in the service of our country. His name was James Allan Davis he was math wizard and worked for a local bank in Jackson until he enlisted. We had 3 years of courting before he asked for my hand in marriage. The Christmas before he left we went shopping in  downtown Jackson. First stop was Kisber’s  where he said we were shopping for him some new dress shoes. While we were waiting for him to try on his shoes we were sitting and laughing. Then all of a sudden Mrs. Kisber tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and there she stood with a beautiful Fox wrap in her hands. She placed it around my shoulders kissed my cheek and handed me a card. I was in shock as I read the card. It simply said “My love I want you to be warm when we go to the Christmas Ball at the New Southern next weekend. Love you JAD”

“I will never forget that moment. Mrs Kisber took the wrap and my hand telling James she return me shortly. As a salesclerk put my wrap in a special Mrs Kisber took me to dressing room where 3 dresses were hanging. Since I always shopped at Kisber’s she knew my size and taste. 

“She laughed as she told me I was paying for my dress.” 

After I tried the dresses on we picked the emerald green evening gown no alternation needed. It was a little expensive but I was allowed to charge it. Then she told me she would have the wrap and dress delivered to my house. Then she told me what shoes to wear and what evening bag to carry. The she went back to work and I floated down to James. 

James took my hand and we headed down the street deciding to have a bite to eat at the Fox before heading home. We walked past the Jewelry store and he guided me inside.

“Now we are going to look at engagement rings but that will come later for now we are going to get something else.” He said

I picked out a beautiful ring we got it sized and James put it on layaway. Then we approached the case that had necklaces and earrings. James picked out a simple gold necklace with a small emerald encased in gold with matching earrings. 

“By the time we got back to my home I just knew I would wake up and it would all be a dream. It wasn’t our packages had arrived my dress and wrap plus James shoes and his new suit. He took his purchases after we made plans to go to a movie later.

“Now sweet girl I was not a beauty but the night we went to the ball I felt like a princess with my prince. The following Valentine’s I got my engagement ring. Then my dreams crashed before Christmas James had gone to war never to return. I never had the love I had with James again.”

We sat silent for a while.

“Now I have had  a good life, I loved my students, living with my Sissy and volunteering in my community. Then I retired life as I knew it changed.  I have had health challenges but every Christmas Sissy and I would go to all the Christmas shows. Then on Christmas Eve we would dress up and go to services. On Christmas Day we would prepare a special meal , prepare the table, get dressed up go out the back door. Walk around to the front door and pretend we were a grand party, eat our special meal and exchange gifts while listening to great holiday music. It was such fun.

 Then Sissy died and I was alone. Since then I have not decorated for Christmas . One I am not able and then my heart is not in it.

I actually had a neighbor come over and criticize me. I lied and told her I was Jewish . She accepted that the fool sat at the end of the row at the Church I attend every Sunday I could. So let’s talk about being invisible.”

I will never forgot what Miss Lillian told me and how true it still is and how I  and many others of a certain age can relate.

Miss Lillian told me when she and her Sissy first retired they could get out and about. They had a great community of friends at Christmas they would get so many cards and little gifts. Then the older they got things changed fewer cards, gifts ,visitors and then neither could drive. Luckily the church would check and if they were up to it send the van to get them church. Then Sissy died and it was like she no longer existed . 

She looked at me and said “we weren’t the only ones others our age were going through this. At Christmas all the wonderful charities make sure children and needy families even the homeless are taken care of each year. Unfortunately the ones of us that were not blessed with children , have families that do not have time , or no longer have family alive are alone . Then so many are on  fixed incomes and cannot purchase gifts  even for ourselves or afford to send cards the invisible.

 The next 2 years with help from a few of my friends we made sure Miss Lillian was not alone and enjoyed her final years. When she passed away she knew she was loved and not invisible.

Now my plea to you take time  make sure  and recognize the individuals in your life they may feel  invisible. I so proud to see some taking time to adopt a “grandparent” in their community.

Look around and see what you can do to show respect and love to your elders.

Think about how you would feel if people walked away and forgot all about you. How would you react to being “an invisible person”.


d n English


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In 2004. at the third presentations of “the ghost of downtown Jackson” I met a very interesting lady.

After finishing my stories a young  lady came up and ask if I could over and meet her grandmother. The young lady led me to a bench in front of City Hall.I did and this is the story I was told about the headless ghost of Harts Bridge.

“I am so glad to meet you” she said “ I want to tell you what  my grandmother told me that her mother told her. Come on sit beside me.” (Have you noticed when an older person ask you to sit on bench or a chair beside them they pat the place they want you to sit. Now that I am older I do the same thing.)By this time there about 20 people gathered around as we listened to her memories.

“The time was the 1930’s my grandparents always had their granddaughters out for a weekend. There were 10 of us girl cousins all but two of us were from Jackson the others were from Nashville. On Friday afternoon their  parents would bring them down deliver them to my grandparents where we all met for family diner . Then the adults and the boys would head off to Jackson until Sunday.   

Saturday morning all my great aunts would come over and we started cooking for the Sunday picnic. Then granddaddy would come get us and we fish in the pond and then we help build a fire pit. On Saturday night we would go down to fire pit roast marshmallows and hot dogs. There would be a small campfire with a large pot of hot chocolate  with our “tin cups”  on the side and a Dutch oven full of hoe cakes.” She looked around “ you youngins don’t know what hoe cakes are do you?”

This is her explanation . “In the pioneer days they always had a special clean hoe. Then they would mix cornmeal,  a little bit 

of lard, and water. Then they put the batter on the hoe and  into the fire and cook repeat until they had enough 

hoe cakes  for the family.” She laughed “ now my granny cooked her’s in a skillet on the stove and put them in the Dutch oven to keep them warm. They were to wrap our hot dogs in there was always a bowl of mustard and butter. You have never had a burnt hot dog until you have had it in a hoe cake with melted butter.” She explained 

(We lost her there for a second I knew she was going back to that campfire.)

Then she said they would wrap in their blankets by the fire and listen to granny tell us ghost stories. The favorite was the headless ghost of Harts Bridge Road.

“ The year was 1864 men were coming back from the war to start over. Down the road from where my grandmother lived there was a house where one of the daughter in laws of one of the neighbor landowner lived. Their son  had joined the war effort late  his wife was already settled in so she stayed.

Grandmother told us she was poplar and had a lot of men visitors. The neighbors all talked about this but not when we children in the room but we knew.

Well the young man came home from war by train .His family had arranged for him to have a horse waiting for him at one of the local stables. Since he got to Jackson early he went to one of the  saloons downtown before he headed home. 

While he was there one of friends informed him what his wife had been up to in his absence. 

On his way he came up with plan. He stopped by his parents and told them he was planning on moving to Nashville to work there and start over with his wife. They did not like it but they understood. He got a wagon with a couple of horses and took off for his house and his unfaithful wife.

As he approached the house the wife heard the wagon approach. Her gentleman friend fled out the back door to the woods where his horse was hidden.

The husband parked the wagon and went inside to find his wife standing at the stove. He did not wait for her to turn around he took his long sword and cut off her head. Then he rolled up her body and his sword in the rug that was in front of the fireplace. Next he got out her trunk and packed her clothes and her fancy hat in the trunk. He took her hat box and placed her head in it wrapped in towels. He then loaded up the furnishing he wanted to take and his clothes. Last he loaded the rug and the hat box and a shovel.

From his house he road down to the Forked Deer Bottoms close to where  the bridge is now. First he threw the hat box with the head in the River. Then he went deeper in the woods and dug a shallow grave and dumped the rug and the headless body in the grave. He covered it with leaves and branches.

He then left headed North. About a year later he  sent word that his wife had died in child birth.

Then it started being reported a headless woman appeared walking the banks of the Forked Deer River on full moon nights. Was she looking for her husband or her head?  Sometimes she would be seen swinging his sword.”

Then my grandmother would laugh a horrible scary laugh.

“ We girls would be shaking under our blankets 

but it would be a good scary. We loved our time with 

our Grandparents . The next day we went to church as a family then had a wonderful family reunion. On the way home my dad asked “did she tell you the story?” and laughed.

Her granddaughter help her up she gave me a great grandmother hug. I thanked her for story as I watched her walk away. The  group that enjoyed the story started clapping I joined in the lady stopped and took a bow. Such a wonderful night.

For years people have been to the Harts Bridge Road close to the bridge they would pull off and look for the headless woman. Some have reported seeing her on one side of the river then others would see a head of a woman stuck in a tree.

Others said they just had a good make out session.

You have to admit it is a great story and it has been passed down through the years different versions but the same results a headless woman walking the banks of the Forked Deer River or in the woods .

Are around Hart’s Bridge Rd. Forked Deere River


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Here are some more Haywood Co. Tennessee facts followed by a story about spirits that are still close to their homes..

HILLVILLE: Located in southern part of county and first called Moore’s as the first elections were held in Alfred Moore’s home. Later it was named Hillville for Fountain P. Hill in whose home the post office was established. Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church, “Do-Me-Good,” was organized circa 1830. Hillville was a stage coach stop between Nashville and Memphis and the coach crossed Hatchie River by ferry at Estanaula. A Chickasaw Indian Burial Ground is located here and is now part of Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge.*

Mt Pleasant United Methodist Cemetery another beautiful historic cemetery.

This story was shared with me years ago by a gentleman(Mr. Edwards) who hung around Grandfather’s store. I remember this story because it was during the time they were constructing the “interstate”.

Mr. Edwards  was from the Hillville community a hunter and a fisherman. His family he told me arrived in the Hillville area in 1835. He said his grandfather told him this story when he was a little boy. 

Hillville was one of the stops on the stage coach route from Nashville to Memphis in the 1840’s . His grandfather told him there was an Inn for the travelers to have a meal or even spend the night. They would trade out the horses for the next part of their journey, From Hillville they would cross the Hatchie  River at Estanaula by ferry. Estanaula at that time had a hotel and several other businesses. Lumber ,cotton and other goods were shipped and received at this location.   

Since there would be a lot of money trading hands this made this area a prime site for robbers.

According to Mr. Edwards there was on gang that terrified the area for a few years. Finally the plantation owners, lumberman and concerned citizens formed a vigilante group . Then one day they caught the gang in the act of terrifying a group on a stage coach. After they got the stage on it’s way they took the guilty parties and hung them from the trees in the Hatchie Bottom. Far enough in the bottoms no one would see them hanging.

The robberies stopped but odd sightings and sounds could be heard in the area the men were hung. It was said the hanging trees died and the area would not grow vegetation. The moans of the hanging men can still be heard according to what Mr Edward’s grandfather told him.

Mr. Edwards said he and his friends would go looking for the site but every time they got close something would scare them off. They were told Mr. Powell’s  men would not go close to the area when they were harvesting lumber.

He just laughed and said “this is just one of the stories that would curl your hair”. 

Sometime I will share some of the other stories I heard siting by the stove in “Pop’s store.



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Little known facts about Haywood Co. TennesseeI

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The Dancyville Methodist Cemetery was established in 1830’s. If your interested you can roam the cemetery and see if you can find interesting tombstones. I was always told by Miss Dorothy Moore that there was a 1813 veteran buried there,  also veterans from Spanish American war, WWI,WWII, ex slaves, 1 gypsy and many everyday citizens. It was always interesting to walk around and write down the various names and dates but never at night.

The town was named after the local blacksmith Issac Dancy in 1837. The state in 1838 began the plans for a road from Fayette Co. through Dancyville to Brownsville. 

This is a round about way to tell you about the one of the ghost that wanders the area.

The lady was part of a group of gypsies that had purchased land outside Dancyville. They use this farm as a base camp and traveled around West Tennessee and Northern Mississippi. A group would travel,   pick up odd jobs, put on shows and of course set up a fortune telling tent. Then in the winter come back to the home place

share what they earned and get ready for the next outing.

The group that stayed behind ran the farm where they grew crops and all sorts of herbs. They earned  money other ways around the neighborhood They had a blacksmith business , worked as carpenters and field hands. One of the ladies was known far and wide as a talented fortune teller and healer.

Ladies of the area would come to find out there future and to get potions. Unlike other areas the gypsies were accepted in this part of Haywood County. 

The fortune tellers daughter  was a striking beauty with the voice of an Angel. She and her family attended the Methodist church where she sang in the choir. 

One night she and her brother were leaving choir practice and a storm came out of nowhere . A tree fell on their buggy she was killed instantly her brother died going for help.

It is said that her spirit still can be seen in the area of the cemetery  and if you listen you can hear her singing her favorite hymns at night after a funeral. 

Ghost of the little girl

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In 1856 the railroad tracks reached Brownsville. The first Memphis and Ohio train arrived carrying freight, mail and passengers. The train came from Memphis to Brownsville then did a turn a round and head back to Memphis. It was said the train left Brownsville and arrived in Memphis six hours later.The reason was because of the many stops loading and unloading freight ,mail and passengers.

It wasn’t until 1906 when the first train station was completed that the sightings began.

In 1905 a young girl got on the train with her mother to go to Memphis the mother fell asleep. When the train arrived in Memphis the mother woke up and her daughter was no where to be found. Panic ensued they search the train from one end to the other.

Then someone reported they had seen the girl get off in Stanton. Family members searched to no luck . Then when the train station opened in 1906 the sightings started .

After the Memphis train left the station people said they would see a little sitting on the steps of the station crying and then she wasn’t there.

It was not until a year later they found the body of a little girl in an abandoned telegraph house near Stanton. They identified her by the doll that was with her. The young girl had been kidnapped by a lady known to have lost her little girl in 1904. The lady had admitted the deed in a note found when they discovered her hanging from a tree behind her house. They think the little girl had escaped and was walkings down the tracks to Brownsville. She had taken shelter in the telegraph house and died.

The reason she appeared at the train station she was waiting on her mother because that was the last time they had been together. When the station was torn down in 1971 everyone thought that would be the end of the sightings.

Not so I have been told on a full moon night you can see a faded set of steps and there she sits holding her doll and crying..

This story was told me by my great Aunt Vera when I was a child. I think it was to scare me not to “take up with strangers” .

It worked and I never forgot


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Strange Sightings

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First I want to confirm that I am a supporter of Solar energy.

This story is a what if story.

It was an exciting time for Haywood County the land had been purchased and the site was being developed. This was going to be the site of a large solar farm providing power to many. There was some environmental concerns but they were brushed aside “for the good of the people”.

Fast forward the solar farm was up and going even had been enlarged all was running smoothly. Or was it?

 For the past few years there had been rumors of strange sightings in Hatchie . Large Bobcats and monster alligator gar.

(Gars are known for their long dart-shaped bodies. They inhabit slow-moving and stagnant water bodies, such as bayous and estuaries. In these habitats they frequently bask like logs at the surface. Gars have the ability to gulp air in response to low-oxygen conditions that often occur in sluggish waters. The air is delivered to a type of primitive lung called a gas bladder or air-breathing organ, which is vascularized to allow for gas exchange with the body. Their jawsand face form a sharp-toothed beak, and their bodies are encased in an armour of diamond-shaped, thick, enameled (ganoid) scales.)

Everyone who lived close to the Hatchie had seen or caught Gar if caught they were released.  But the sightings we are talking about were up to six feet long and weighing over 100 lbs and they were causing  all sorts of problems in the Bottoms. Then there were the 

Bobcats, rabbits and squirrels oversized and very aggressive. The question was why and what was causing these problems.

One day a Forest Ranger was doing a check of a section of Hatchie bottom. What he found was not normal. He found a clearing that had not been there before. In this clearing was one of the huge solar panels. It was less than 50 ft of the river on a built up mound.

The trees around the clearing were twice as big as they had been the last  time he had checked . According to his journal it was just over

18 months ago that he was in this area. He recorded what he was seeing then he heard the sound a low growl like he had never heard before he retreated.

When he got back to the base camp he did some research. First he found a report of a solar panel being stolen about 16 months ago. Then he found a hunters report about activity around the area where he found the clearing. He also found out no body had checked out the complaint.

Calling his supervisor they organized a group to visit this area. The next day they headed out to investigate. What they found was unexplainable . Everything was like he explained but where he had marked one of trees that mark was 2 feet higher. Then when they went into woods they found paw prints of what they thought was a Bobcat . But it was a print like they had never seen before 6 toes and twice the size of a normal Bobcat. 

Then they heard the chattering of a squirrel. They looked up and saw this Huge animal coming out of tree at top speed. One of the Ranger took his gun out and shot. It was a direct hit the offending animal landed just feet from the Ranger. He retrieved the animal it was the largest squirrel he had ever seen. The group decided to head back and discuss the situation.

They sent the body of the squirrel to be examined. When all the facts were discussed it was decided the solar panel was causing the changes.  The area around the panel was emitting not only heat but a low hum. They consulted with the engineers of the solar farm and arranged to remove the panel.

A month later when the panel was removed the area had changed more growth just plain strange. The work crew decided it would be easier to remove the panel by loading it  on a boat and taking it back closer to site. One crew stayed behind and cleared the area but were amazed at the size of the earthworms they discovered.

On the way out of the woods they crossed path of one large rabbit.

This trip gave them so much material for stories.

It has been over six months so a group headed back to see the area .

There had been no new growth the  area seemed back to normal.

 But the reports of larger animals still surfaced i mean the animals were not going back to normal but they were not getting larger. The reports of the aggressive large gar continued. Soon there was a bounty set on the Gar to rid the Hatchie of the creatures.

If you are wandering in the Hatchie Bottoms beware..

Was that Walter?

was that Walter?

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here is one of the many ghost stories of the area around the Hatchie River

The ghost story of the ferry at Hatchie bottom and the drowning

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here is a little know Haywood Co fact:

KOKO: Located about on Highway 76 about 3 miles south of Hatchie River. It’sproximity to Lowery’s Landing at the river made it a busy area in earlier days.

Some say Koko was named for a popular brand of chewing gum.

As people were leaving Brownsville to cross the Hatchie River to go to Somerville the only way to cross was by Ferry. The Ferry was a flat bottom boat with two oarsman. Some time they would have mules on each side of the river with robes attached to pull the ferry across.

On this one day the ferry had a small wagon full of goods heading from a Brownsville merchant to one of the farms 2 miles from the river . The driver of the wagon was Walter he had worked at the mercantile delivering all around Haywood Co. for years. Walter was a beloved character around Brownsville and Haywood Co. When fall came around he would put on his Beaver hat and cowhide coat. The other thing he was known for was his crazy snorting laugh he just made people smile.

When he delivered across the river he would spend the night and return the next day . He would always tell people he was happiest around the Hatchie River and with the people of the bottoms.

One of Walter’s habits was when he got on the ferry he would unhook the horse from the wagon. He would always say if the water got rough the horse could swim. On this afternoon it was said there was an erie sound and all of sudden the water became disturbed and the wagon was flipped off the ferry. The horse swam back to the shore and headed back to Brownsville . The ferrymen were still on the rocking ferry but nobody could find Walter. They got back to shore and for some reason the wagon had been pushed on shore. Then the search began soon they were joined by men of the community.

The horse turned back up in Brownsville about the time the word reached the town about the incident. Several of the town’s men headed to the river to help look for Walter. They searched for hours finally they were able to find his hat and his coat but that was all. They went into the woods looking for signs of Walter but when they came back to retrieve the coat and hat they were gone.

Nobody had any idea why the water had acted so weird. Then the story got out it was an evil spirit in the river, the truth was Haywood Co had experienced an earthquake.

They finally gave up on finding Walter and held his funeral.

A month after the accident the sighting began . It was reported fisherman would hear Walter’s laugh and see him walking along the river bank. For the years that the ferry was in operation a ferryman would report they felt his presence on the boat. After the bridge was constructed the sightings did not stop. Even now it has been reported a fisherman would see a man walking the banks. They would go to wave but he would be seen walking toward a big tree then disappear. Then the hunters would tell stories of seeing a man walking and hear his strange laugh. They could not help but smile. When the hunters looked up the man would be walking into a tree disappearing and a face would appear in the bark of the tree. When the lumbermen came for some reason they would never touch that tree. The tree continued to grow but the face stayed put not moving.

Many say as they approached the tree they see a smiling face in the bark of tree. The story has been passed down and many have heard the laugh and visited the tree and smiled. Walter is still walking the banks of the Hatchie and then disappearing into his tree. He is happy at his home in Hatchie Bottom

The story of the Sand Dunes

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Can you hear the drums?

Sitting on the top of the sand dunes above the Hatchie River the boys could hear the drums. The year was 1918 and the story was started.  

For years it had been said if you visited the sand dunes off the Somerville Highway in the fall you would hear the drums of the hunting parties. 

Several Indian tribes used the Hatchie Bottoms as hunting grounds for years recorded as early as the 13th century.They would set up hunting camps along the River and hunt during early morning. The lands were full of deer, Buffalo, bear and other animals good for food and hides to trade.  They  would celebrate their hunts while processing the meat and tanning the hides. While they did this they would sound the drums,play the flute and sing.

The white man were not a problem the ones they did deal with   were traders and explorers. No threat…

As time passed the Indians lost their hunting ground to the white man. The hunting parties were gone but the spirits  of the elders stayed around.  It was also said the lands of the Bottoms had a few burial mounds. That contained the remains of ones who passed while on the hunting journey.

Sitting on the top of the sand dunes above the Hatchie River the boys could hear the drums. The year was 1918 and the story was started.

The boys had heard about the sounds and the phantom fires that were said to dot the landscape. 

Peter,John Paul, and Mason trusted Peter’s father so they told him their plans. He just smiled since his wife and daughters were visiting her sister in Brownsville he helped them pack some food,  a shovel  , a small lantern and quilts. Off they were to the Dunes. They set up their camp ,dug a pit for a fire, spread their quilt out.

Before  sunset the music and singing could be heard  . As dark fell they saw the fires then it happened out of nowhere a shadow appeared on the edge of the woods.

The  moon was full there were no shadows  then the arrow landed just a few feet away and a wild scream was heard.

The boys took off Peter put out the fire and caught up with John Paul and Mason  running all the way home. They opened the window to Peter’s room. The father had sat up because he knew they would be home before the night was over. He looked in Peter’s room and could see the shapes of the 3 boys under the cover . The father got up early and made breakfast  the boys appeared after cleaning up. Soon they were telling their story.  He did not doubt them he hooked up the small wagon and took  them to where they had camped to pick up their stuff . Sure enough there was the remainder of the food they had brought and evidence where their camp fire had been . Where they said the  arrow had been were 3 arrow heads and a large rabbit foot that looked like  it had just been cut off a rather large rabbit.

The father gathered up the objects and told the boys not to say anything to anyone.

Yea sure , the story was passed down at many a campfire.

Are the spirits still there ? Can you still hear the drums?