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Probable Last Refuge of Roanoke Colony Survivors Discovered

This discovery solves one of the biggest riddles in American history and permanently negates the critics, who, in 1940, knowing nothing about the history of the Southern Appalachians or the Creek language, labeled the Dare Stones found in the burial cave in the Nacoochee Valley of Georgia as fraudulent. The stones said that Eleanor Dare lived the last decade of her traumatic life near a big rock next to a river in an Indian town named Hontaoase (Hontawasee in modern English.)

In 1940, University of North Carolina professors went national to proclaim Hontaoase not a Cherokee word and therefore, the product of some Georgia mountaineer trying to create an Indian-sounding word. This was the final death blow for the Dare Stones. They were soon forgotten.

No, it was not Cherokee. The Cherokees didn’t live in Georgia in 1590. It is an Itsate Creek word that means “Those who make plants grow with water.” In other words, people who irrigate their crops.

This enhanced satellite image shows footprints of buildings at the site of Hontawese.  They may be structures in a late 17th century, English fort and trading post.

This enhanced satellite image shows footprints of buildings at the site of Hontawese. They may be structures in a late 17th century, English fort and trading post.

If interested in learning more, go to: Examiner Article

Special thanks go to Eddie Lanham and Jodi Tinsley, who helped solve the last two pieces of the Roanoke Colony puzzle. Also, a big thank you goes to geologist Scott Wolters, who painstakingly went through the Dare Stones at Brenau University to determine which stones were real and which were fake.


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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.

1 Comment

  1. Mark,
    The People of One Fire has been in existence since 2006. From the beginning, we had many members who were elderly Native Americans living on modest incomes. We just don’t mention money so they will not feel guilty. You are welcome to buy any of my books, however. LOL Most are at a website that you can reach by googling – Richard Thornton. Two other books are published by Ancient Cypress Press. “The Apalache Chronicles” and “Nodoroc and the Bohurons.” You can find them at their website.

    Thank you for your kind comments.
    Richard Thornton


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