FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 10, 2012
Contact: Robert Preston, Jr.,
SGC to Host Regional Historian, Author Jane Walker on
South Georgia College is pleased to announce that McRae,
Ga., author and historian Jane Walker will visit campus on Tuesday, Sept.
18, to discuss her books Widow of Sighing Pines; The Dodge Land Troubles,
1868-1923; and In the Lion’s Paw at the William S. Smith Library at 7 p.m.
native of Macon, Walker moved to McRae after marrying her husband, Billy
Walker, in 1960. After her husband’s death in 1994, she began to reminisce
about the intriguing history of the three-rivers area, which her husband had
recounted to her during their marriage of 34 years. He told her about the
Dodge family’s coming to the area and claiming over 300,000 acres of the
finest longleaf yellow pine timber in the world. Being an attorney, he also
spoke about the local people and how they fought through the courts and
outside of the courts to hold on to the land which they really believed was
theirs. Billy Walker recalled the many murders during the ongoing 44-year
land war, and especially the infamous murder of John C. Forsyth, chief agent
of the Dodges. Forsyth was murdered in his home in 1890, allegedly by angry
"squatters," the misnomer used by the Dodges to designate the local people
who, they thought, illegally claimed their lands.
Walker felt compelled, after her husband’s death, to write about this
history of the three-rivers lands, the three rivers being the Ocmulgee, the
Oconee, and the Altamaha rivers. She first wrote the historical novel, Widow
of Sighing Pines, which was given the president’s book award in 2003 for
Best Adult Fiction by the Florida Publishers Association. The history book
entitled The Dodge Land Troubles, 1868-1923, which she co-wrote with Chris
Trowell, a retired history professor from South Georgia College, was
published in October of 2004. These books are companion books, in that they
both deal with the Dodge Era and the devastation of the longleaf yellow pine
during the late 1800s.
Widow of Sighing Pines is a love story which is set during the most
tumultuous period of this era, the years 1891-1895 . The rafting of the
giant timber to the coastal city of Darien is one of the highlights of the
book. To prepare for the writing of this part of the novel, Jane Walker
traveled the Ocmulgee, the Altamaha, and the Altamaha River Delta by canoe,
kayak, and motorboat. She was even able to retrace the actual route of the
rafthands, when they would ride their log rafts to the coast.
In the Lion’s Paw, another historical novel/love story by Walker, discusses
the Cherokee Indians and their traumatic removal from the southeastern part
of the United States during the latter part of the 1800s.
Walker’s discussion promises to be entertaining and informative, and will
discuss important details and events from a pivotal period in the history of
southeastern Georgia. The event is free and the public is cordially invited
to attend. For further information about the SGC event, please call (912)
260-4276. To learn more about Walker and her books, visit
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About South Georgia College
South Georgia College (www.sgc.edu)
was founded in 1906 and is located in Douglas, Ga. The college's environment
gives students exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and
close collaboration with faculty. With over 20 majors and transfer
opportunities, South Georgia College provides the finest education possible
to the citizens of its service area.