Natchez Trace to Meriwether Lewis

Meriwether Lewis Campground is another one of those fee free campgrounds on the Trace. We spent two nights here checking out some more exhibits on the Trace and one of the towns around here called Waynesboro.


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On the parkway in Alabama, about 7 miles before the Tennessee River there is an exhibit called Buzzard Roost Spring. Buzzard Roost was one of the most famous stands along the Natchez Trace, at the site of a large spring originally called Buzzard Sleep. In 1801 Levi Colbert built his stand near this spring. At that time this was Chickasaw land and the stands were owned by Indians.
Levi wasn't a full-blooded Indian, his father was a Scotsman, James Logan Colbert, who spent most of his life among the Chickasaw and may have been an important military strategist for the Chickasaw in their battle against the French at Ackia. The father's military prowess wasn't lost on Levi. One fall while most of the young men of the tribe were away on hunt, the Creek Indians attacked the Chickasaw village that was Levi Colbert's home. Levi organized the remaining men, young and old, and lead them to victory over the Creeks. For his bravery, Levi received honor at Council, seated upon a wooden bench rather than upon the ground. He received the name, Itawamba Mingo, meaning Bench Chief. As one of the mixed bloods Levi became acting chief of the entire Chickasaw Nation. Highly respected and trusted, he was known as Levi, "The Incorruptible."

Sign for Buzzard Roost

Buzzard Roost is a spring that makes this river.

Looking downstream.

A picture of "Chief sit on the bench".

Sign for Freedom Hills.

A straight up hike to the overlook.

This is called Freedom Hills. There is no war story its just the name of the hills around here.

Colbert's Stand information.

Road into Colbert's Stand.

Whats left of Colbert's stand.

George Colbert's ferry with the Tennessee River in the background.

Tennessee River with the Natchez Trace bridge.

Rock Spring information.

Trail closed.

We followed the closed trail.

Here is the bridge out portion as far as we go on the closed trail.

State line between Alabama and Tennessee.

McGlamery Stand taken from inside the truck out the window.

Sweetwater information.

This trail leads to the river.

The sweet water, we didn't drink any.

Dead fish makes the water real sweet. ha ha.

Meriwether Lewis is the Lewis of the famous Lewis and Clark exploring duo. In 1809, Lewis, while he was the governor of the Louisiana Territory was traveling the old Natchez Trace, when he stopped at an Inn, Grinder's Stand. Lewis was later found with two gunshot wounds, possibly self-inflicted or possibly an unsolved murder.
In 1848, Tennessee erected this broken column monument, symbolizing Lewis's untimely death at age 35. In 1925, President Coolidge designated this National Monument. The county where this lies became Lewis County in 1843. In 1961, this monument and park became under the oversight of the Natchez Trace Parkway, and also maintains a campground here.
On its east side is the following inscription: In the language of Mr. Jefferson:- "His courage was undaunted; his firmness and perseverance yielded to nothing but impossibilities; a rigid disciplinarian yet tender as a father of those committed to his charge; honest, disinterested, liberal, with a sound understanding and a scrupulous fidelity to truth."

Our site at Meriwether Lewis campground.

The Meriwether Lewis monument.

Site and ruins of the Grinder House, in which Meriwether Lewis met his death on the night of Oct. 11,1809.

The Metal Ford information.

David reading the sign.

The Buffalo River.

Why did the Turkey cross the road?

The grass is greener on the other side?

Or to hide in the bushes.

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