Don’t buy pole, lumber from burial sites

Published 4:23 pm Friday, September 4, 2009

Dear Sir:

Please let me introduce myself. I am Jack Wingate. I owned and operated Wingate’s Lunker Lodge, located at Hutchinson Ferry Landing for 40 years lacking three days. I am a member of Faceville Baptist Church, also a member of Faceville Masonic Lodge, where I just received my 50-year apron on July 18. I was born in the community of Faceville 80 years ago today { Sept. 1} . I write a weekly column called Seminole Ramlins in many papers and magazines, and I am proud to say that I have as a dear friend, W.H. “Shorty” Harrison, who is a direct descendant of Osceola, and “Earl Hood,” who is a descendant of confederate General Hood and Chief Red Eagle. I have met and guided McGillany, descendent of that “Chiefdom.” I am also an honorary member of the “Apalachicola Band of the Creek Indians,” bestowed upon me by the great-great-great-granddaughter of Chief John Blount, who Blountstown, Fla., is named for. I am also an honorary member of the “Me-Chi Lower Creeks,” in Enterprise, Ala.

Now, my grandmother was the daughter of Big Bill Odom of Pine Log Creek, which is a tributary of Crooked River, six miles north of Carrabelle, Fla. She was three-fourths Creek, what that makes me, I’m not sure.

Email newsletter signup

Scarlet Walden, wife of Bobby Walden, “The Big Toe From Cairo,” is my first cousin on my mother’s side. She is also the mother of Robert Walden of Nashville, who will pick and sing at the Bikefest of Bainbridge on the 19th of September, where 10,000 people will gather on bikes. Many are veterans, some will be the descendants of the Buffalo Soldiers.

Alan Carter, descendent of the man who founded Black, Ala., lives here in our community, if this don’t mean nothing to you, look up who his ancestor was at Black, Ala.

Meretta Kelly, who is in the Apalachicola Band of the Creek Indians, she was the wife of Ted Kelly, World War II hero who jumped into Bastounge. He was the son of J. Pat Kelly, the man directly responsible for passing the GI Bill of Rights. She lives here in the community.

I am proud to be a friend of Ray Scott, founder of B.A.S.S. as in May 2009 issue of the Georgia Outdoor News.

I’m also proud to know and call my friend, Dave Precht, present editor of Bassmaster Magazine, who we see pretty often.

Sirs, all of the above is not to brag, but to simply state the facts.

Now, to get down to what I’m writing to you about. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is planning to sign contracts to furnish your company with poles from the Hutchinson Ferry site. There are two cemetery sites of the John Hutchinson family on this site. Mr. Hutchinson was the nephew of Rachel Jackson, wife of Andrew Jackson. He, himself, is buried just off Corps property. Get on top of a 10-foot stepladder and you could, in winter, see both graveyards. He died in 1856, after the slaves were freed. The slaves, having no way to live, stayed close to the plantation site. The last one buried there was in 1946.

Jan Rodgers is a direct descendent of John Hutchinson, she lives here in our community and is the wife of Russ Rodgers, interim pastor of Faceville Baptist Church.

I knew and liked Mr. Langdale who was on the highway board of Georgia. I began dealing with the Corps of Engineers in 1956, I know how they operate. So, what I’m asking you humbly is, not to buy any poles or lumber from the Corps of Engineers that comes from the Hutchinson Ferry Site!

They agreed this date that a controlled burn would work just as well as cutting the timber.

Since, thanks to the Wilsons, who now own Wingate’s Lunker Lodge, we are having an Indian Pow-Wow on the first weekend of December to celebrate 50 years of Wingate’s Lunker Lodge.

With this, I will close and ask you again not to buy any poles or lumber from this site.

Best Regards,Jack Wingate