From the Archives, September 8, 2019

Site Names

One of the questions that comes up periodically is how did the sites at Boxwell get their names? There isn’t always a good answer to this question as sometimes a site gets its name simply because a staff member thinks “x name” sounds great. Sometimes it really is that simple.

Other times though the story is more complex and more interesting. Seen here is Stahlman waterfront’s buddy board in 1970. As you can see, instead of listing the sites by number (as is the case today), the sites are identified by their site name. While certainly not true of all, many of these names are direct carry-overs from the Rock Island Boxwell.

For most of its run, Rock Island Boxwell had six sites, adding 2 more at the very end for a total of eight. The story goes that because Rock Island had a strong Cherokee connection. Camp legend maintained that the Trail of Tears crossed through the property in the 1830s and that the last battle between Natives (Cherokee as it turned out) and white men (from Sumner County no less) was fought here. Because of this connection, the sites were named after either Cherokee chiefs or were Cherokee related.

Among the sites at Rock Island: Sleeping Rabbit, Black Fox, Bushy Head, Cherokee Village, Wanuke, Thee-nah-teehee, Oo-la-sa-la-na, and Witha-la-coochie. Do any of these names look similar to those on the board?

Buddy Board

Camp Stahlman buddy board with site names on it. Collection of Chris Eckert, 1970.

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