Note: The following is part of a series of columns looking at points of interest throughout the history of Bulloch County.
The road which came to be known as the "Burkhalter Road" paralleled the Mount Pleasant Indian Path (or “The Path to Pensacola”), which began at the indian towns of “Palachacolas” and “Tuckasseeking” on the banks of the Savannah River near Brier Creek (present-day Oliver).
The Spanish called this route the “Camio Reel,” and the British called it “The King’s Highway.” There were at least two forts built on Burkhalter Road: one at Long Bluff; and one at Beard’s Bluff.
In Bulloch County, Burkhalter Road passed Joe Hodge’s store in Pretoria, Walter Olliff’s home in the Sink Hole district, and then went on to intersect with the Register to Reidsville Road (which became known as “New Burkhalter Road”).
Old Burkhalter Road continued on past Eason’s Chapel Church and Lanier’s store, crossing the Tattnall County border at what was known to locals as “Dead Man’s Shanty.” The story goes that when two travelers reached this spot, one man killed the other and dumped his body in the shack.
Crossing the Canoochee River at Tillman's Bridge (now Kennedy's Bridge), the Burkhalter Road continued on to “The Forks” at the junction of the Oconee and Ocmulgee Rivers where the Altamaha River begins.
First Fort (or Old Fort Argyl)
According to Adiel Sherwood's “Gazetteer of the State of Georgia,” which was first published in 1827, the “First Fort” or “Old Fort Argyll” (named after John Campbell, the Duke of Argyle) was built in the 1720s some 40 miles up the Ogeechee River along the main indian trail which went from the Carolinas to Florida.
They were ordered to “Set up on the East bank of the Ogeechy River to command all the passes in that part of the Province.” Eventually, this fort was abandoned and another Fort Argyl was built just above where Jencks Bridge crosses the Ogeechee River today.
A location in central Bulloch County near the junction of Middleground Road and Harville Road junction where the indian chiefs from the region's different tribes would gather for inter-tribal councils, it was called “Five Points” because it sat astride five different local indian trails.
Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look each week at the area's past. E-mail Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org.