Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Legend of Long Pond

In the small community of Long Pond, located in the Southeast Georgia county of Montgomery, there is a local legend that is not talked about among the residents anymore. Perhaps it is because the legend is not widely known, or perhaps noone really believes it anymore.

Long Pond is a spot in the road. My family is originally from there, and the place is beautiful. There are a few stately old homes, white clapboard churches by the highway, and moss-covered oaks everywhere. It reminds me of a small New England village. The community once had many more residents than it does now. There was a general store and a sawmill there at one time. In yesteryear, it was a place that a lot of people called home. The community is still there today, but it has almost dried up.

The area was thriving during the era of the Civil War, and, as might be expected, many young men from Long Pond went off to war for the Confederate cause. Recently, as I was thumbing through some of the files in my home office, I found several folders full of newspaper clippings from the area newspapers down there from years past. There were tons of history articles and other news items I found, or people who knew I collected these items, found important. The one on the legend of Long Pond was one of those. It was sent to me by a fellow church member years ago when I lived in the area. The legend goes that during the Civil War, residents of Long Pond planted an oak tree and named it for each of the men who were called to fight for the southern cause. There were a lot of young men from the area called to service, so there were a lot of oak trees planted. They lined a road in the community called The Old River Road. It is still a much used road and is maintained by the state and county.

The weird thing, according to the story, is that not all of the trees lived. The oak trees that died were all named for soldiers who died in war or who were missing in action. The ones that lived were named after those that returned and survived the conflict. According to the journalist who researched the story in the early 1980s, he contacted some of the Long Pond Community's oldest remaining citizens, some of which were children and grandchildren of the people who planted the trees and saw the aftermath.They report that the legend is true, which, I guess, would not make it a legend. Several elderly people are quoted in the article, and they are names that I indeed recognize from my youth. They swear that the story is true and that their parents and grandparents not only told the story, but were also among the ones there when the trees were planted and watched them as they died and lived.

I used to attend church at Long Pond. I have been down the Old River Road many times. The famous Cooper Conner House mentioned in another story on this post, was once located right off that road. It has been moved to the campus of Brewton Parker College, but it was the one that the famous ghost ram roamed around. I have seen a lot of oak trees along the road. As I am home for the Christmas holiday this year, I plan on driving down to the area again and riding down the Old River Road and seeing if I can find the line of oaks. Perhaps there are spots where oaks once were planted and are no longer there. Perhaps I can get pictures and upload them here.


The Doctor said...

I understand that old legend you reference here about planting trees and they die as the person did. Here is one that is interesting also from where my mother is from. She grew up in Chattooga County outside the community of Lyerly. Back in 1927 my mothers older sister was sick and my great grandmother was at the same time. My grandparents home sat on a hill and my greatgrandparents home was in a field about 1500 feet from theirs. A strange light would circle my grandparents home then pass through the field and go around my greatgrandparents home then return to my grandparents home and it would appear that the roof would be in flames. But it wasn't. My family members could not see this phenomena but people traveled from Rome, Georgia and Chattanooga, Tennessee just to see it. My aunt died and one week later my greatgrandmother died and the light went away and was never seen again. That hasn't been discussed in years and it is probably because the people of the area today have forgotten it and it is something left to the past. But there are some who still remember especially family members who were told about it. Strange things do happen my friend and I leave the mind open because we don't know all there is in this existence. But when you go home have a nice trip. You know my wife is from Metter.

rainman said...

I am looking for some of my family who may have lived near Long Pond named Parrish. Do you know if there are some still there?

researcher04 said...

Would you happen to have any old Long Pond news clippings from the 1920's-1930's. My family is from there and some were killed in a fire. We don't know the details, but if there was a story printed (there probably wasn't), we'd really appreciate the information.