Birthplace of the Suwannee

AN EXCERPT FROM SUWANNEE RIVER, STRANGE GREEN LAND BY CECILE HULSE MATSCHAT, 1938.

Bald Cypress tree buttress with Spanish Moss in blackwater swamp with lily pads. Nature photography from the Middle Fork Suwannee River (red trail), Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia USA. October 23, 2020. ©www.williamwisephoto.com. Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally at Dreamstime.com.

​“The birthplace of the Suwannee is in Georgia, deep in the somber heart of the Okefenokee Swamp. Grotesque, bottle-shaped cypress trees, sixty to ninety feet in height, with wide-spreading tops, reach upward from the wine-colored water and form a canopy so dense that only a weird green light dapples the floor of the forest. Everywhere long banners of Spanish Moss hang down from the living trees, hiding their feathery foliage from the sight of man and covering up dead stumps.”

Cecile Matschat’s work published in 1938 by the Literary Guild of America is full of colorful stories of the Swampers that lived in the Okefenokee, exciting folklore encounters with bear, boar and cannibal alligators, as well as scientific descriptions of the flora and fauna of the great swamp. It a worthwhile purchase if you come across a used copy of this collectible out-of-print treasure of Okefenokee literature.


  • Matschat, Cecile Hulse, and Key Alexander. Suwannee River: Strange Green LandThe Literary Guild of America, Inc., 1938.

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