Days Gone By - stories from the past

The Indian Legend of Natural Bridge, Winston County, Alabama

The Indian Legend of Natural Bridge, Winston County, Alabama


G. Samek

During the 1930s, Great Depression era, many writers were employed to interview people around the United States, so their experiences and life history could be recorded The program was named the U.S. Work Projects Administration, Federal Writers’ Project and it gave employment to historians, teachers, writers, librarians, and other white-collar workers. This transcription is one of the unedited stories by G. Samek ca. 1936.

The Chickasaws, who inhabited the north-western part of the state, were the warring, fighting tribe. It is said that no foe ever defeated them in battle. They took many prisoners, who formed almost an army of slaves, and were forced to do all the hard work for the tribe.

Natural Bridge, Winston County, Alabama

Once when the chief was in fierce warfare, he promised his prisoners freedom, if they would bring in a large harvest, and if he returned victorious. They believed in his promise for some of them were Choctaws, and a Choctaw’s word is as good as his bond. But when the time appointed came, the chief refused to let them go.

Called to meet by their dead

That night, a young warrior Lanachichi, called the men to meet by the braves of their dead. They offered up petitions to the Great Spirit, pleading for their deliverance. From the sacred burial ground, the voice of the Great Spirit answered, “I will deliver you.”

The next day Lamachichi went before the Chickasaw chief, begging that he would keep his promise and send the captives back to their tribes. But the chief would not.

Winston County, Alabama z(Wikipedia)

Tomorrow brings vengeance

In the evening the Great Spirit said, “Go into your wigwams and keep them tightly closed, for tomorrow brings my vengeance.” That night a torrent of rain descended. The next morning darkness hung like night, and frogs were everywhere.

The chief sent for Lanachichi, and said the captives might go, if the Great Sprit would remove the curse of darkness and of frogs. But when all was well, the chief again broke his word. So followed many curses, until at last came the curse of death to one in each wigwam, and them the old chief let them go. But no sooner had they departed than the Chickasaw warriors assembled, and pursued them.

Formed a bridge

The captives were close to a river and escape seemed impossible. Lanachichi lifted up his arms in supplication to the Great Spirit. Suddenly the earth stretched forth, forming a bridge seventy-five feet wide.

ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS – Volume I – IV: Four Volumes in One 


One of the most enjoyable and compelling reads I’ve had in years. I just could not put it down. Causey does a great job in telling a complex, but fascinating history of Alabama in the pioneer days when Alabama was truly the wild west for the original colonies. I found The Creek War involving William Weatherford (Red Eagle) to be the highlight of the book and am surprised that Hollywood has not already made a movie of this. 

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ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS – Volume I – IV: Four Volumes in One (Volume 1-4) (Paperback)

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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  1. Go check it out, errybody. It’s a sight to see.

  2. Amanda Braddock, Meaghan Wilson, Mark Molson

  3. Amy Malone Owen thought you might like this.

  4. Well worth the visit Beautiful place .

  5. A beautiful place!

  6. Cregg Cantrell didn’t you go there years ago?

    1. Not that I know of , I went through Haleyville once

    2. I thought I saw you standing in front of it. Oh well.

  7. Ha! Ha! That Chickisaws probably had a lotta laughs around their fireplaces about that tall tell! Missionary school sure came in handy dealing with the Yankee do gooders! Probably told them the Chickisaws were the true lost tribe! Ha!

  8. Roberta Buckalew Weaver

  9. My grandmother was from Brillant and said that she and her brothers as children would ride a mule over natural bridge blindfolded. We don’t know if it was the kids or the mule that was blindfolded ; )

  10. Many writers were out of work…..I think this says alot about this story.I have noticed this in other stories posted here words and phrases that do not fit the period.Form your own opinion but I wonder???

  11. Well worth a visit. My family loves this place. We go often.

  12. Sounds very much like the Israel/Egyptian story. Is there any possibility that a Christian mission to the Indians gave the idea for the story that was given to this author? Just wondering.

  13. My family went to Natural Bridge when I was a child, had Easter dinner, hid Easter Eggs, we had a lot of fun, that was back in the late 1930’s. Haven’t been back for many years, but it was a fun place and quite interesting as something natural. Many memories from that part of Alabama. Keep us learning.
    jean mc caleb

  14. Hmmmm…sounds extremely similar to Moses and Pharaoh and the Israelites and the plagues…but then again, there are several Native American legends and myths that are supremely close to biblical narratives.

    1. That was pretty good the way she made that story up. My mom was raised pretty close to the bridge and played on it as a child.

    2. Carley Sizemore Windsor exactly

  15. Everyone who reads this needs to write the governor or their representatives and ask for the sale of this natural resource to stop. It is privately owned and is up for sale. It is being marketed to the campground buyers. This place needs to stay as natural as possible. Please ask the state to place this as a state park or ask for it to be put in a land trust to preserve the natural historical beauty

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