Aug 13, 2011

History of the Great Dismal Swamp

(Wikipedia) Scientists believe the Great Dismal Swamp was created when the continental shelf made its last big shift. The swamp consists mainly of peat and water. The origin of Lake Drummond, one of only two natural lakes in Virginia, is not entirely clear. Native American legends tell of a giant "firebird" that made a nest of fire in the swamp; the nest later filled with rain.
There is archaeological evidence that 13,000 years ago, people lived in the swamp. In 1650, there were Native Americans in the Great Dismal Swamp, but white immigrants showed little interest. In 1665, William Drummond, the first governor of North Carolina, discovered the lake, which was subsequently named for him. In 1728, William Byrd II, while leading a land survey to establish a boundary between the Virginia and North Carolina colonies, made many observations of the swamp, none of them favorable. He is credited with naming it the Dismal Swamp.
In 1763, George Washington visited the area, and he and others founded the Dismal Swamp Company, a venture to drain the swamp and clear it for settlement. Later the company turned to the more profitable goal of timber harvesting. Continued