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Owners of Eleanor Dare Site invite Richard Thornton to study it

Owners of Eleanor Dare Site invite Richard Thornton to study it


A lifelong resident of the Nacoochee Valley informed me this morning that he remembers the Maya ballcourt in Sautee, GA, but also remembers seeing stone wall terraces and the ruins of stone walls with window slots on the slopes leading up to the Kenimer Mound in the Nacoochee Valley.  Both he and a long time subscriber of POOF, Silvia Wilson, remember seeing the ruins of a stone temple on top of the Kenimer Mound.  During the 1970s, a newcomer to the Valley knocked over the temple walls and hauled the stones to his lot, where he used them to build a foundation and chimneys.  This gentleman also confirmed, what archaeologist Robert Wauchope suspected.  The Chattahoochee River originally flowed on the north side on the north side of the valley, not the south side like today.  A torrential rain storm changed its channel in 1886 . . . and also allowed steamboats to paddle around Downtown Rome, GA.

The forthcoming architectural study will be documented by the first true video film on our People of One Fire Youtube Channel.  Things are changing!

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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history. Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.



    That is wonderful. I can’t wait to hear more about it.


    Richard, Long time reader, I’d love to help in any capacity. I am licensed architect as you are, but I’m noted for my forensic insights,technical writing, and photography; I’m semi-retired, an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga teaching Architectural History in the fall, and live in Cohutta. I worked a little at UTC years ago with the archaeology team having overseen a dig on campus of a civil war site. I am familiar with the Nacoocheee Valley, but mostly traveling through from Cohutta to Tocooa and exploring when possible (not Helen) some of the back creeks with grandchildren. And I have no problem working as a team member. I am part Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) and believe it may well have been some of my people who led Roanoke people inward; believeing the key is in language and culture. Fascinated by the possibilities.

    • Hey Mike, I am also very familiar with your neck of the woods. I lived in Rome, while we were restoring some large buildings downtown, plus several years before then in the Cartersville Area. Did the plans for restoration of several historic buildings in and around Lafayette. Contact me at our address:


    Hey Richard
    I am assuming the 1886 flood that changed the river channel here was the same flood that changed the Etowah at Etula. That must have been one heck of a storm system!
    If you need help with any grunt work I would like to volunteer, I have never helped on a archaeology site but would like to learn.
    Hope you are getting settled in your new place!

    • What I had in mind was meeting the members of this family on the archaeological sites. I want to determine how much revisitation they would tolerate and if I could bring POOF members along to see the places where Robert Wauchope worked. Yes, it’s the same storm that altered the Etowah and allowed steamboats to paddle up and down Broad Street in Rome, GA.


    Richard, I think this is terrific. Hopefully now well get a clearer idea of the early goings-on there and the fate of the Roanoke colony. Rich Becherer


    So excited about your research relative to the Dare stones. Hopefully, there can be some resolution to the many questions about them. Obviously, they are some of the most valuable artifacts found in N. Georgia/North Carolina, and hopefully, will shed some additional light on the Eleanor Dare History. It is fascinating!!


    Just found out i have a few ancestors that were born near Ellijay in the late 1700s, one born a few miles south of there in 1801.

    Wouldnt it trip modern ” archaeologists” minds if they ever do a real dig on that Rocky Mound near Century, and find not just a ” pile of rocks” but a real maya style temple?

    My Ray ancestors would leave South Alabama for northern georgia for weeks at a time, then come back with a skin cancer cure. I can show you newspaper articles about one of them.

    I am kin to the Gibson family from Newmans Ridge, Tennessee, and Holmes County, Florida. People called them ” melungeons”. There is a theory out there that some melungeons are descendants of the Roanoke colony. Josh Gates of that show on discovery channel ( i forget the name of it ) explored a recent dig of a known Croatan village site , dating from the late 1500s that had european artifacts in it.


    How do I get in touch with Mr. Thornton?


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The Information World is changing!

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We are now celebrating the 11th year of the People of One Fire. In that time, we have seen a radical change in the way people receive information. The magazine industry has almost died. Printed newspapers are on life support. Ezines, such as POOF, replaced printed books as the primary means to present new knowledge. Now the media is shifting to videos, animated films of ancient towns, Youtube and three dimensional holograph images.

During the past six years, a privately owned business has generously subsidized my research as I virtually traveled along the coast lines and rivers of the Southeast. That will end in December 2017. I desperately need to find a means to keep our research self-supporting with advertising from a broader range of viewers. Creation of animated architectural history films for POOF and a People of One Fire Youtube Channel appears to be the way. To do this I will need to acquire state-of-art software and video hardware, which I can not afford with my very limited income. Several of you know personally that I live a very modest lifestyle. If you can help with this endeavor, it will be greatly appreciated.

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