Historic Markers Across Georgia

The Creek Indians and the Falls

Marker ID:  
Location: Bay Ave north of 11th St, Columbus, GA
County: Muscogee
Coordinates: N 32° 28.02    W 084° 59.76
  32.467    -84.996
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: None


The Creek Indians and the Falls

To the native people of the Chattahoochee River Valley, the Muskogulgi or Creek Indians, these shoals were a place of recreation, a source of food, and the the home of the Tie Snake, Estakwanaya, a mythical creature who trapped passers-by with his tail and dragged them to their deaths beneath the water. In the spring especially, the women and children of the Creek villages of Coweta and Cusseta came here to fish, using dip nets, spears, natural poisons, and bows and arrows to harvest shad, bass, catfish and sunfish. The Creeks also built stone fish traps in the shallows, the remains of which were visible long after Columbus was settled in 1828. Indian boys particularly enjoyed grabbing huge sturgeon on the surface and wrestling them to the bank.

The Creeks also believed the Chattahoochee held spiritual powers. Regardless of the weather, they bathed their newly born babies in the river only minutes after they came into the world. The natives began each day by plunging into the river or the nearest stream to purge the impurities of the previous day. Bathing in the Chattahoochee was also an essential step in their yearly Poskeeta, or Green Corn Ceremony which amounted to the Creeks New Year’s celebration coinciding with the harvest of the new corn crop.

Representation of Estakwanaya, the mythical Tie Snake

Atlantic Sturgeon

Yuchi Town, circa 1776, located about fifteen miles down river from here, shows the relationship of the Indians to the river.

Pictures of this marker can be view on HMDB.org