GRAVETTE At 7 p.m. September 15 at the new Hobbs State Park - Conservation Area visitor center, Don Wells, president of the Mountain Stewards of Jasper, Georgia, will present a program on "The Mystery of Trees".
It is a never-beforetold story about curious bent trees many believed were used by Indians to guide themselves across the North American continent to hunt, to communicate and more. The documentary explores the mystery and gives viewers an appreciation for peoples who lived close to nature, said Don Wells, Hobbs spokesperson.
News Herald Story
The News Herald recently published a picture and story about one of these mystery trees, often referred to as a "trail tree".
The article in the July 22 issue of The News Herald described the tree located near Strawberry Ridge Road between Gravette and Sulphur Springs on property owned by the Robert Robersons.
The article pointed out the distorted tree trunk "pointed" to a nearby spring and creek, which some believe provided direction for Indians and possibly pre-settlement Americans.
Travel Tree Project
The presentation is based on interviews with Native Americans and "old timers" from across the country as well as historical research. Investigations have included the use of dendrochronology, GPS, satellite systems and sophisticated computerbased mapping programs. The Mountain Stewards Trail Tree Project includes mapping Indian trails from 1700-1800 survey maps and locating and documenting the associated trees.
According to Wells, "Probing the evidence will allow us to recover, explore and preserve this fascinating part of Indian culture. Some of these trees clearly marked Indian trails. The plotting of these trails and village sites on topographic and 3-D maps graphically tells us more about the cultural history of Native Americans".
News, Pages 12 on 09/09/2009