This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

This blog is part of my life journey. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me and maybe join in the discussion...

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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Indian Rivers ( #AtoZChallenge )

     No one owns a river.  It's more like the rivers own us.  But it's up to us to take care of those rivers so we can have a workable partnership with them...





  #AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter I

 

Indian Rivers

The Tellico River near Tellico Plains, Tennessee (Wikipedia)


         There are a number of rivers in the United States that bear the name of "Indian River" in reference to something about them about indigenous peoples who had lived in the area.  None of these rivers are in India so now it seems a bit ludicrous to have a river with this name.  In some cases maybe those who named the river weren't aware of any specific tribal names or words, but they made the connection to early people who had lived near those rivers.  Or maybe they knew and just wanted the generic tribute to those people--or perhaps it was a dismissive slur of sorts.

        A great many rivers in the United States derived their names from some native American connection.  From the mighty Mississippi to the Tennessee and to the more obscure rivers such as the Allagash in Maine or the Tellico River in Tennessee, many American rivers were given variants of their original indigenous names or names that reflected some aspect of native American lore or descriptive terms.

      One of my high school friends, Vernon, has long had a fascination with the stories of the Native Americans.  He used to have a very nice collection of Indian artifacts, but they were stolen from him. Vernon also studied extensively about the peoples who lived in the United States before European settlers arrived and drastically changed the demographics of the country.  He had a fantasy that one day he might set off in a canoe in the Little River in Rockford Tennessee and set forth on an epic journey from river to river until he reached the Gulf of Mexico.  He had the trip mapped out in great detail, even going so far as to have determined places where the rivers were dammed where he would have to go through locks or whatever it took to get back into the stream of the river.

          Vernon supposedly wrote down another adventure in a notebook when he was in middle school.  That was before I met him so I never saw it   Our friend Fred told me about reading this grand adventure that ended up in the hinterlands of Canada going from lake to lake.  Vernon had seen the lakes on a map.  Now, fifty years later, Vernon lives along the Little River where it is the backwaters of what I think is Fort Loudon Lake.  He seems pretty happy where he is and I don't imagine he's going anywhere soon.  


         Is there an "Indian" river near you?  Did you write down any adventure accounts that you shared with schoolmates?  Would you rather live on a river or a lake?

       

         


26 comments:

  1. I live close to a river, and a canal. There is always water near me ;)
    Quilting Patchwork & Appliqué

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    1. Frederique, water is a good resource to have near.

      Lee

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  2. I didn't realise there were so many rivers in Tennessee, I've learned something new this past week.
    Have a good weekend Lee.

    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, there are a lot of rivers in just about every state.

      Lee

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  3. I live close to a lot of rivers and some still have their Native American names

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    1. Mike, I'd say a very large percentage of American rivers retain some kind of native American name or title.

      Lee

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  4. There's Dead Indian Creek in my county. It may have been renamed while I haven't been paying attention though. The road is Dead Indian Memorial Road (the "Memorial" added later) and there is a petition to change that name. Dead Indian Mountain was changed. The name was from the location a man found two bodies, which may have died natural deaths from disease.
    There's no Indian River, but an Indian Creek up north near the WA border.
    I prefer rivers to lakes. The water is always changing. Lakes are boring! Unless you just want to swim. Even lake fishing is boring, sitting on a dock or in a boat!

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    1. Lisa, some of the stories behind the stranger names can be interesting. I'm not going to say lakes are boring, but rivers are going somewhere.

      Lee

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  5. Living along the bank of a rippling river surrounded by a wooded area teaming with friendly wildlife is my idea of an idyllic life. Sounds like Vernon found his utopia. Many of the rivers in my home state of WI have names suggestive of Native Americans, including Chippewa and Tomahawk rivers.
    https://gail-baugniet.blogspot.com

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    1. Gail, Vernon's little "estate" is simple, but very nice and tucked away.

      Lee

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  6. Up in Lancaster county there is a river bed. No more river (or that was the case the last time I was up thataway). It was really sad that the state allowed the decline and drainage happen when the person I was with said that there WERE fixable plans. Just weren't acted upon.

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    1. Stuart, out west there are a lot of dry beds that only have water in them after rare rainfalls. But I guess those have been like that for perhaps centuries.

      Lee

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  7. That's a lovely adventure to set out, canoeing through the rivers, I think it would be quiet the experience! I love rivers, well, all kinds of water really, so now that has put something in my head to think (dream) about! :)

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    1. Andrea, canoeing can be mighty peaceful when all is right. Dream me a river!

      Lee

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  8. Your friend Vernon sounds like quite an adventurer. Do I live next to any Indian rivers? I must answer that - I live near the river Jamuna in New Delhi, India.

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    1. Kalpana, in his retirement he's not the adventurer he once was, but in the past he had some interesting adventures and often I was with him.

      Lee

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  9. I'd prefer to live near a river. The one in the photo above looks inviting!

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  10. Diedre, I'd love to live by a river and I agree about the one in the photo.

    Lee

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  11. I'd much rather live on a lake. Ever since driving past such houses on a school field trip in I believe fourth grade, I've loved the idea of living right on a lake (or ocean) and being able to go right down to swim or hang out on the beach almost as soon as you open your door.

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    1. Carrie-Anne, I don't care much for the swimming or watersports but I do like the looking. Any body of water can be nice to look at, but still the sound of a river can be so relaxing and comforting.

      Lee

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  12. Hi, Great blog and narration. Being a water sign, love any thing to do with water. your blog has made me like any thing and everything about rivers...
    Regards

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    1. SCT, there is much to like about rivers, but they are due respect as well because some of them have such great power and influence.

      Lee

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  13. Lee,

    Your friend, Vernon, had quite the imagination. I'd say locking himself away with such fantasies and daydreams is what gave him hope growing up in what then seemed like a little sleepy town in east Tennessee. We always want what we don't have but as we get older we understand how blessed we are to be where we are in the moment. I'm happy Vernon is content to live still beside the Indian River. How cool it would be to see his mapped out plans of adventure. I wonder if he still has these? Happy A2Zing, my friend!

    Injun Putty Tat Looney Tunes A-Z Art Sketch

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    1. Cathy, I was just talking to Vernon the other day and meant to ask him about his old adventure plan. But of course I forgot. He is happy where he is these days and seems to have no interest in going anywhere even if it's a brief vacation get-away.

      Lee

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