Ghost Stories and Tall Tales of the American South

Chief Sawnee’s Gold – Story Credits

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Written by Craig Dominey and Lanny Gilbert

Told by Lanny Gilbert

Photography by Craig and Connie Dominey

Sound Design by Henry Howard

Growing up in Forsyth County, Georgia (when it was a small rural county, not one of the wealthiest counties in the US with a population of almost 175,000 people) , I heard many legends concerning the Cherokee and their activities in and around the county before they were forced to leave on the Trail of Tears. My grandmother had a copy of a book called Cry of the Eagle, which detailed many legends and also had tons of factual info concerning the Cherokee, that I devoured as a kid.

Chief Sawnee (whose name was given to the highest mountain in Forsyth County, where he is supposedly buried) probably had more legends attached to him than any other of the Cherokee. Some said he hid a large stash of gold on Sawnee Mountain, others said it was buried somewhere else. Others said that not only did he have a stash of gold, but he placed a curse on it and a spirit watches over it to this day.

We had a neighborhood “ne’er-do-well” who loved to just stop by the house and tell stories. Chief Sawnee’s Gold is an amalgam of 2 or 3 of his wild tales.

-Lanny Gilbert

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