Thursday, May 27, 2010
Did You Know There Was A Volcano In Georgia? What About the Wog?
Did you know that there was a volcano in Georgia? Me neither, at least until I was doing some reading on the history of Winder, Georgia. In my research on Georgia political history, I have done a lot of reading about the late U.S. Senator Richard B. Russell, Jr. He was from Winder. As I wandered across a book or two on Barrow County and Winder history, I found an interesting snippet of information about a place not far from Winder and the home of Senator Russell, that is oftentimes called Georgia's Volcano. This is not a volcano in the pure sense; however, the area, according to author G.J.N. Wilson, did not support vegetation, and the trees growing nearby were very small compared to those growing normally in other areas. The area was a few acres in size, and it was full of bubbling, bluish mud like sludge. The mud moved in some places, giving the impression that it was boiling. In fact, in the center, it had the appearance of boiling water. The Creek Indians called this area Nodoroc, somewhat akin to hell. They considered the area to be a place of great evil. In fact, it was said that living near the area was a monster called the WOG. It is the WOG that I find most interesting. They said that this was an animal with long jet black hair, the size of a horse, front legs larger than its hind legs, and had a small white sliver of white hair at the tip of its tail that if fanned up and down. The other spooky feature about this legendary animal was that it had a long forked tongue. According to Alan Brown in Haunted Georgia, the settlers in the area many years ago used to report that they could see the long forked tongue sticking in through the chinks in their log cabins. The Creek Indians said that the WOG was the devil, and that he lived in Nodoroc. The WOG was said to have only eaten carrion (rotting flesh-usually animal) but would attack if threatened. Other stories told about this legend state that the WOG would roam the area looking for small animals, some being dogs and cats, to devour. This legend is very strange. It is part of Creek Indian legend in Georgia. In one legend, a Creek chief, Umausauga, had a daughter that was being pursued by a Choctaw warrior. Not wanting anything to do with him, she rejected his advances. He killed her. When her father found out, he sent a party of Creek warriors to find the killer. They found him, cut out his heart and fed it to wolves, and threw the body in to Nodoroc to be eaten by the WOG. This is one of the coolest Georgia legends I have ever read about. I think it is more than neat that there is a huge area near Winder that used to be home to some sort of boiling mud-like substance that settlers called a volcano. The WOG, whatever it was, has to be one of the most intriguing legends. Has anyone else heard about this? You can reference stories in Dr. Alan Brown's Haunted Georgia, Jim Mile's Weird Georgia, and Frank and Victoria Logue's Touring the Backroads of North and South Georgia. In addition, the legend is mentioned in GJN Wilson's Early History of Jackson County, Georgia.