Natchez Trace Parkway - Buzzard Roost Spring, near Cherokee, AL
Posted by: Dulcimoore
N 34° 45.591 W 088° 01.390
16S E 406360 N 3846888
Quick Description: Along the 33-mile stretch of the Natchez Trace Parkway in Alabama, just off US Hwy 72. Home place and site of Inn run by Chickasaw Chieftain Levi Colbert (1759-1834).
Location: Alabama, United States
Date Posted: 7/24/2011 12:25:51 PM
Waymark Code: WMC4EG
The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444-mile drive through exceptional scenery and 10,000 years of North American history. Used by migratory animals, American Indians, "Kaintucks", settlers, and future presidents, the Old Trace played an important role in American history. Today, visitors can enjoy not only a scenic drive but also hiking, biking, horseback riding, and camping. Source: (visit link
This stop along the parkway, originally called Buzzard Sleep, was changed to Buzzard Roost in 1801 by Levi Colbert, a renowned Chickasaw chief. The spring was a water source for the Colbert house which also served as an inn and stand for travelers on the Old Natchez Trace. Travelers who stopped here remarked that its a good place for they were well received, well fed and kindly treated. (Levi was a brother to George Colbert, they both ran the Colbert Ferry and their stands were about 2 hours apart by horseback.) Source: (visit link
The Colbert family was legendary in North Mississippi. James Logan Colbert was a Scottish trader who immigrated to America in the late 1700s. He became familiar with the Chickasaws through trade and married Chickasaw women. He had five sons who took leadership roles in the Chickasaw Nation, as well as owning quite a bit of property as the Chickasaws reckoned it.
Levi Colbert was one of his younger sons. His nickname “Itawamba Mingo” meant “Bench Chief,” and the legend of how he received that name is that as a young man, he led the village in defending against a Cherokee raid while most of the warriors were gone, according to Cecil Sumner. He was awarded the honor of sitting on a bench in council, rather than on the ground.
The Colberts signed the treaties as leaders of the Chickasaw, but in the 1830s when they realized what was really happening, they led the protests against losing their land and being pushed out. Source: (visit link
The coordinates were taken at the marker, the spring is an short stroll away. Also at this location are picnic tables, and handicap accessible restrooms.