Alapaha River

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Not to be confused with Alabaha River.
The Alapaha River at Statenville, Georgia, during a period of drought in 2000
Alapaharivermap.png

The Alapaha River /əˈlæpəhɑː/ is a 202-mile-long (325 km)[1] river in southern Georgia and northern Florida in the United States. It is a tributary of the Suwannee River, which flows to the Gulf of Mexico.

History[edit]

The Hernando de Soto expedition narrative records mention a "Yupaha" village they encountered after they left Apalachee, "the sound of which is suggestive of the Alapaha, a tributary of the Suwanee."[2] Another reference to a village of "Atapaha" "so closely resembles Alapaha that it is reasonable to suppose they are the same, and that the town was on the river of that name."[3] John Reed Swanton's landmark Indian Tribes of North America places the Indian village of Alapaha near where the Alapaha River met the Suwanee, and also noted that an Indian village of "Arapaja" was 70 leagues from St. Augustine, Florida, probably on the Alapaha River.[4]

In the 1840s a German travel writer, Friedrich Gerstäcker wrote a dime novel called Alapaha, or the Renegades of the Border, giving the name to a noble Cherokee "squaw." A translation of this novel was published in the 1870s as #67 in a series of American narratives published by Beadle.[5]

During the American Civil War, the swamps along the Alapaha River in Berrien, Irwin, and Echols counties became a refuge for a number of gangs of Confederate deserters.[6]

Course[edit]

The Alapaha River rises in southeastern Dooly County, Georgia, and flows generally southeastwardly through or along the boundaries of Crisp, Wilcox, Turner, Ben Hill, Irwin, Tift, Berrien, Atkinson, Lanier, Lowndes and Echols Counties in Georgia, and Hamilton County in Florida, where it flows into the Suwannee River 10 miles (16 km) southwest of Jasper. Along its course it passes the Georgia towns of Rebecca, Alapaha, Willacoochee, Lakeland, and Statenville.

Near Willacoochee, Georgia, the Alapaha collects the Willacoochee River. In Florida, it collects the Alapahoochee River and the short Little Alapaha River, which rises in Echols County, Georgia, and flows southwestward.

Intermittent river[edit]

The Alapaha River is an intermittent river for part of its course. During periods of low volume, the river disappears underground and becomes a subterranean river. At approximately 2.3 miles (3.7 km) downstream from Jennings, Florida is a river sinkhole variously known as the Alapaha River Sink, Suck Hole, or the Devil's Den on the western bank of the river. It is located at 30°35′08″N 83°03′10″W / 30.5855009°N 83.0528016°W / 30.5855009; -83.0528016. A short distance away from the Devil's Den's, the Dead River enters into the Alapaha River. It is a usually dry river bed with a number of sinkholes, including the Dead River Sink.

A few more miles downstream is a second sinkhole known as the Dead River Sink or the Siphon. At the latter point during the periods of low water flow, the Alapaha River disappears underground leaving a dry bank for much of the remainder of its course. The Alapaha River later reappears at the Alapaha River Rise, which is about a half mile upstream from the confluence of the Alapaha River and the Suwanee River (30°26′46″N 83°05′51″W / 30.446044°N 83.097483°W / 30.446044; -83.097483). During a period of low rainfall over 11 miles (17.7 km) of the riverbed can be dry as the river goes underground.

Image of the entire surface water flow of the Alapaha River near Jennings, Florida going into a sinkhole leading to the Floridan Aquifer groundwater.

Variant names[edit]

The United States Board on Geographic Names settled on "Alapaha River" as the stream's name in 1891. According to the Geographic Names Information System, it has also been known as:

  • Alabaha River
  • Alapa Haw River
  • Alapa Hawchu River
  • Alla-pa-ha River
  • Allallehaw River
  • Allapacoochee River
  • Allapaha River
  • Allapauhau River
  • Allaphaw River
  • Allappaha River
  • Allopohaw River
  • Alloppehaw River
  • Alopaha River
  • Elapaha River
  • Lappahaw River
  • Lop Haw River
  • Lopaha River
  • Lopahatchy River
  • Loppahaw River
  • Low Haw River
  • Popaha River

Crossings[edit]

Crossing Carries Image Location ID number Coordinates

Georgia[edit]

Griffin Road 32°01′27″N 83°36′37″W / 32.0243°N 83.6103°W / 32.0243; -83.6103
Buzzard Bridge Willford Crossing Road 32°01′27″N 83°36′37″W / 32.0243°N 83.6103°W / 32.0243; -83.6103
County Line Road 32°01′11″N 83°36′37″W / 32.0198°N 83.6103°W / 32.0198; -83.6103
Seville Road 32°00′32″N 83°36′06″W / 32.0089°N 83.6016°W / 32.0089; -83.6016
Seville Road 32°00′32″N 83°36′06″W / 32.0089°N 83.6016°W / 32.0089; -83.6016
Seville-Pleasantview Road 31°59′50″N 83°35′27″W / 31.9973°N 83.5908°W / 31.9973; -83.5908
Old Cordele Road 31°59′07″N 83°34′40″W / 31.9853°N 83.5778°W / 31.9853; -83.5778
Flowers Road 31°58′39″N 83°34′34″W / 31.9775°N 83.5761°W / 31.9775; -83.5761
Watson Road 31°58′01″N 83°34′38″W / 31.9670°N 83.5771°W / 31.9670; -83.5771
Dowley Road 31°56′52″N 83°33′37″W / 31.9478°N 83.5604°W / 31.9478; -83.5604
Rail bridge CSX Transportation
Line formerly known as Savannah, Americus and Montgomery Railway
31°56′52″N 83°33′37″W / 31.9478°N 83.5604°W / 31.9478; -83.5604
US 280.svgUS 280
Georgia 30.svg SR 30
Pitts, Georgia to Seville, Georgia 31°55′52″N 83°33′10″W / 31.9312°N 83.5527°W / 31.9312; -83.5527
Highway later replaced by Georgia 159.svg SR 159 31°55′52″N 83°33′10″W / 31.9312°N 83.5527°W / 31.9312; -83.5527
Georgia 159.svg SR 159 31°55′49″N 83°33′07″W / 31.9303°N 83.5519°W / 31.9303; -83.5519
Hawkinsville and Florida Southern Railway (Abandoned 1920s) 31°55′24″N 83°32′43″W / 31.9234°N 83.5453°W / 31.9234; -83.5453
Georgia 112.svg SR 112 31°51′31″N 83°28′47″W / 31.8587°N 83.4797°W / 31.8587; -83.4797
Jay Calhoun Road 31°51′31″N 83°28′47″W / 31.8587°N 83.4797°W / 31.8587; -83.4797
Georgia 90.svg SR 90 Rebecca, Georgia 31°46′17″N 83°27′17″W / 31.7714°N 83.4547°W / 31.7714; -83.4547
Rail bridge CSX Transportation
Line formerly known as Atlanta, Birmingham and Atlantic Railway
31°46′17″N 83°27′17″W / 31.7714°N 83.4547°W / 31.7714; -83.4547
Hawkinsville and Florida Southern Railway (Abandoned since before the 1920s) 31°46′17″N 83°27′17″W / 31.7714°N 83.4547°W / 31.7714; -83.4547
Georgia 107.svg SR 107 31°41′24″N 83°27′41″W / 31.6899°N 83.4615°W / 31.6899; -83.4615
Walker Ford 31°41′24″N 83°27′41″W / 31.6899°N 83.4615°W / 31.6899; -83.4615
Flat Ford 31°40′53″N 83°27′44″W / 31.6814°N 83.4621°W / 31.6814; -83.4621
Crystal Lake Road 31°40′38″N 83°27′37″W / 31.6772°N 83.4602°W / 31.6772; -83.4602
Georgia 125.svg SR 125
Georgia 132.svg SR 132
31°31′58″N 83°23′56″W / 31.5327°N 83.3989°W / 31.5327; -83.3989
Tifton and Northeastern Railroad (Line abandoned in the 1960s, defunct) 31°32′59″N 83°24′54″W / 31.5497°N 83.4151°W / 31.5497; -83.4151
US 319.svgUS 319
Georgia 35.svg SR 35
31°31′58″N 83°23′56″W / 31.5327°N 83.3989°W / 31.5327; -83.3989
5 Bridge Road 31°28′45″N 83°20′41″W / 31.4791°N 83.3447°W / 31.4791; -83.3447
US 129.svgUS 129
Georgia 11.svg SR 11
31°25′49″N 83°14′44″W / 31.4303°N 83.2456°W / 31.4303; -83.2456
Sgt. James E. Jones Memorial Bridge US 82.svgUS 82
Georgia 50.svg SR 50
31°22′17″N 83°10′17″W / 31.3714°N 83.1713°W / 31.3714; -83.1713
Rail bridge CSX Transportation
Line formally known as the Brunswick and Albany Railroad
31°22′17″N 83°10′17″W / 31.3714°N 83.1713°W / 31.3714; -83.1713
PVT. George W. Lee Memorial Bridge Georgia 135.svg SR 135 31°18′11″N 83°03′12″W / 31.302988°N 83.053354°W / 31.302988; -83.053354
Norfolk Southern Railway
Line formerly known as Ocilla, Pinebloom and Valdosta Railroad
31°03′14″N 83°02′23″W / 31.053811°N 83.039627°W / 31.053811; -83.039627
Georgia 168.svg SR 168
Georgia 64.svg SR 64
31°09′25″N 83°02′22″W / 31.156844°N 83.039514°W / 31.156844; -83.039514
Waycross and Western Railroad (Closed 1925, defunct) 31°03′14″N 83°02′23″W / 31.053811°N 83.039627°W / 31.053811; -83.039627
Captain Henry Will Jones Bridge US 129.svgUS 129
Georgia 11.svg SR 11
Lakeland, Georgia to Homerville, Georgia 31°02′46″N 83°02′36″W / 31.046217°N 83.043361°W / 31.046217; -83.043361
Carters Ferry/Bridge (Defunct) Lakeland, Georgia to Magnolia, Georgia.
Hotchkiss Bridge Old State Road/Old River/Hotchiss Road (Built 1895, defunct) 30°56′11″N 83°02′26″W / 30.936513°N 83.040614°W / 30.936513; -83.040614
US 84.svgUS 84
Georgia 38.svg SR 38
Naylor, Georgia to Stockton, Georgia 30°55′28″N 83°02′14″W / 30.924563°N 83.037216°W / 30.924563; -83.037216
Rail bridge CSX Transportation
Line formerly known as the Atlantic and Gulf Railroad
30°55′27″N 83°02′13″W / 30.924074°N 83.036841°W / 30.924074; -83.036841
Lee Bridge (Defunct) 30°51′30″N 83°01′25″W / 30.858398°N 83.023588°W / 30.858398; -83.023588
Howells Ferry/Bridge Howell Road (Old route, defunct) Mayday, Georgia 30°49′43″N 83°01′07″W / 30.828749°N 83.018640°W / 30.828749; -83.018640
Howell Road Mayday, Georgia 30°49′41″N 83°01′07″W / 30.828193°N 83.018549°W / 30.828193; -83.018549
Rail bridge Norfolk Southern Railway
Line formerly known as the Atlantic, Valdosta and Western Railway
Mayday, Georgia 30°49′37″N 83°01′06″W / 30.826888°N 83.018458°W / 30.826888; -83.018458
Formally the location of Troublesome Ford Georgia 94.svg SR 94 Statenville, Georgia 30°42′14″N 83°01′58″W / 30.703908°N 83.032683°W / 30.703908; -83.032683

Florida[edit]

Florida 150.svg SR 150 Jennings, Florida to Jasper, Florida 30°35′54″N 83°04′24″W / 30.598471°N 83.073230°W / 30.598471; -83.073230
Rail bridge Norfolk Southern Railway
Line formerly known as Georgia Southern and Florida Railway
30°35′53″N 83°04′24″W / 30.598135°N 83.073226°W / 30.598135; -83.073226
NW 14th Terrace (Defunct) 30°35′37″N 83°03′55″W / 30.593586°N 83.065301°W / 30.593586; -83.065301
US 41.svg US 41 Jennings, Florida to Jasper, Florida 30°31′44″N 83°02′18″W / 30.528814°N 83.038319°W / 30.528814; -83.038319
I-75.svg Interstate 75 30°29′57″N 83°02′27″W / 30.499170°N 83.040930°W / 30.499170; -83.040930
(Defunct) 30°27′12″N 83°05′22″W / 30.453340°N 83.089351°W / 30.453340; -83.089351
SW County Road 751 Alapaha River Rise 30°26′55″N 83°05′49″W / 30.448605°N 83.096923°W / 30.448605; -83.096923

References[edit]

  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed April 18, 2011
  2. ^ George Ransford Fairbanks, History of Florida from its discovery by Ponce de Leon, in 1512 to the close of the Florida War in 1842. Philadelphia: J.P. Lippincott & Co., 1871, p. 60.
  3. ^ Fairbanks, p. 76.
  4. ^ John Reed Swanton, Indian Tribes of North America, p. 147.
  5. ^ Alapaha, the squaw or, The renegades of the border [WorldCat.org]
  6. ^ "Disgraceful". Albany Patriot. Albany, Georgia. 23 February 1865. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°26′12″N 83°05′47″W / 30.4366062°N 83.0965262°W / 30.4366062; -83.0965262