There is little evidence from this period of North Carolina history. From what we have, or can piece together, there has always been something here.
From 'An Early History of Surry County', a thesis by Bob Jackson, published 1967:
A Baptist minister, one Evan Singer (1785-1861), relates Indian legends that surround the property:
"Local groups of Cherokee refer to the place as 'Chickamauga' meaning the field of death. No Indian will go near the area, as they believe it contains 'evil spirits'. An Indian legend states the 'Yunwiga', or real people, were told by the Great Spirit to avoid this place, as it is the place where 'a brave may not walk', and 'his prayers would not be answered' if he were to go through the area."
George Rasmussen, of the Westminster College Archeology Department, excavated the remains of several early Indians at the site in July, 1923. From his notes:
"It resembled a mass grave, with several dozen bodies in one location. From evidence at the site and other dating methods, it was determined the individuals died around 1685, plus or minus 10 years. Further examination revealed the individuals were all male, aged about 20-25 years, and were in good health. No indication was given for cause of death of such a large number of individuals. One leg bone was found to have a large concentration of cellulose, and what can be determined of the cell structure, it resembled fibers or wood. But other than this fact, there is no other evidence of any foul play."
"This incident happened long before the English began pushing westward into what is now Surry county. A few trappers or hunters would have been the only contact the Indians could have had. Certainly there were no large expeditions into the area until several decades later. If this had been a massacre, there would have been evidence of gunshots, or knife, or ax wounds on the remains. There were none."
From historical records for the area, this information was found:
It is true that war parties were sent through this territory to make trouble for the settlers east of the Blue Ridge, but they had no abiding place west of that divide. Bishop Spangenberg was here in December, 1752, but he saw no Indians, though speaking of an "old Indian field." There is a tradition in the settlement near Ararat and Rock Creek, now in Surrey County, that Alexander White was the first settler in that locality whose name is now remembered and lived where Melvin C. Bickerstaff now resides, but that another had preceded him at that place, and that while hunting one day he saw from a ridge a party of Indians kill two white men who were "lying out" in that locality in order to escape service in the Revolutionary War, and trample their bodies beyond sight in a mud-hole which then stood near the present residence of Rev. W. C. Franklin. This settler did not reveal himself to the Indians, but, hastening to his own cabin half a mile away, escaped with his wife and child to Fort Crider (which, in 1780, Dr. Draper tells us, p. 185, note, was situated on "a small eminence within the present limits of Pilot Mountain",) after having been forced to eat while on the journey through the rough mountains the small pet dog which followed them. There is also another tradition that the American forces followed a party of marauding Cherokees to the rock cliffs just above Pilot Mountain (now called Hanging Rock) in that locality, but retreated because the savages were too strong for them. These, however, are the only traditions diligent enquiry had revealed.
There is, however,
other evidence of forays across the Blue Ridge by Cherokees from their
towns on the Little Tennessee.
Note: (1) Rev. W. R. Savage, of Blowing Rock, and W. S. Farthing, of Beaver
Dams, have large collections of Indian relics.
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