At CreekFire, outdoor adventure is closely tied to our region’ s Native American roots. Around these parts, you can hike the forests where warriors hunted … fish the waters that provided sustenance for the earliest Americans … and sleep under the same canopy of stars that illuminated the journeys of distant generations.
It’ s no coincidence that our name reflects the legacy of Georgia’ s original outdoorsmen – the Creek Indians. Given their important role in Savannah’ s history, we consider it a fitting tribute.
Hundreds of years before European settlers, the Muscogee Nation established expansive towns in the broad river valleys of present-day Georgia and neighboring states. The Muscogee’ s largest tribe, the Creek, were woodlands descendants of an ancient mound-building civilization that spanned the Mississippi River and its tributaries.
When the Spanish explored Georgia in the 16th century, they described a handsome people, their men tall and strong, who ate from the best vegetables in the field and possessed expert knowledge of herbs. The Creeks got their name in the early 1700s when English newcomers from South Carolina used it as shorthand for “Indians living on Ochese Creek” near Macon, Georgia.
In Colonial times, Savannah was by far the state’ s largest and most important city. Fittingly, its founding can be traced to a small Creek tribe known as the Yamacraws.
As told by Visit-Historic-Savannah.com, “In 1733, General James Oglethorpe, and 114 men women and children aboard the 200-ton galley ship ‘Anne,’ landed on a high bluff along the Savannah River called Yamacraw Bluff by the local Creek Indians. Chief Tomo-chi-chi, a tall, ageless Indian, and his wife, Senauki, were there to greet the settlers on their arrival. The gentle and civilized Indians, with painted faces, sliced ears and tattooed skin, pledged their friendship and granted the colonists permission to settle on the bluff. Oglethorpe and the chief became lifelong friends. The Yamacraw Indians would prove instrumental to the success of Savannah, and the town flourished without the warfare and hardship suffered by so many of the other colonies.”
Today, you can visit the grave of Tomo-chi-chi in Savannah’ s Wright Square. A few blocks north is the gold-domed City Hall, located on the same spot where Tomo-chi-chi first met Oglethorpe and the colonists.
Heading toward Atlanta? Creek tradition holds that the Ocmulgee Mounds burial site in Macon – site of the largest archaeological dig in American history – is the place where the tribe first sat down” after its long migration from the west.