Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Loblolly and The Limberlost

The Colonel and Darling-Sister-In-Law are interested in and have been working on their family history for over 25 years. A decade ago they made a trip to Indiana to look up and gather information about their ancestors. They have been wanting to go back since and finally the "stars aligned" and they recently made another trip back. This time I was in tow.

One of their ancestors owned and lived on farm land that the Loblolly Creek ran through. The creek fed the Loblolly Marsh and the marsh is part of a larger wetland ecosystem called the Limberlost Swamp.

The Limberlost Swamp originally covered 13,000 acres. In the past it was described as a treacherous swamp and quagmire, filled with every plant, animal and human danger known. The vast forest and swampland was Gene Stratton-Porter's (one of America's most successful female authors...more on her at a later time/blog) playground, laboratory and inspiration.

Beginning in 1888, a long-term drainage project began on the Limberlost Swamp. After nearly 20 years, a dredge finally stopped as the water freely flowed away from the vast wetlands and into the Wabash River, allowing for massive farming, logging and drilling operations.

80 years later, the Limberlost Swamp Remembered Project began when farmers grew tired of losing their crops to the Limberlost floodplains. Today, a total of 1,559 acres have been purchased by the Limberlost Swamp Remembered and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) through the Indiana Heritage Trust.

The Colonel, Darling-Sister-In-Law and I visited the 467-acre Loblolly Marsh Wetland Preserve. Hiking trails are open daily from dawn to dusk.

There were pretty flowers among the native prairie grasses.

Legend has it that the Limberlost Swamp got its name from "Limber Jim" who was lost in the swamp while on a hunting expedition in the 1800's (You will have to remember when Limber Jim got lost the swamp was heavily forested).

1 comment:

  1. Been there.LOL Seriously, it's a beautiful place and Gene Stratton Porter is one of my favorite authors. Jenn