Re: Billy's Island, Okefenokee Swamp
By lisa November 19, 2001 at 02:34:22
You might check the book "Okefenokee Album". It was written by, as I understand it, a professor at UGA, and is based on notes taken by a man who spent a lot of time in the Okefenokee Swamp before it was a national wildlife refuge. I'm sorry I can't remember author or researcher's names (I will try to get them and e-mail them to you...my husband knows). As the story goes, the researcher (Frances ??) spent a lot of time in the Swamp visiting its residents around the turn of the century, and collecting stories. Eventually, he and his wife petitioned the government to take steps to preserve the swamp and its way of life, unfortunately too well. In the 1930's a large portion of the Okefenokee Swamp was purchased and designated National Wildlife Refuge. Billy's Island is in that portion, although my understanding is it is still privately owned. In any case, the man had planned to document the stories he collected in the swamp and publish them, but died before he did it. Apparently, this professor finally published from his notes. Maybe there are references to your Alsobrooks there. Also, I do know that there is a cemetery on Billy's Island, though it is fenced up to keep the tourists out...the headstones are not easily read from outside the chain link fence.
I will try to find out what I can, and get back to you. My husband is from Fargo, near the West Entrance of the refuge (Stephen C. Foster State Park). He worked at the park as a young man, guiding tours, etc. and we have recently moved back...to guide tours again. :) He may know something that will help.
Oh, Stephen Foster has some pix up in their interpretive center of some of the inhabitants of the Swamp and Billy's Island. If you are ever this way, you should go out to Billy's Island. There are remnants everywhere of the town that once thrived there.
If there is anything else I can do, please feel free to e-mail me at GenData7@aol.com.