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Discussion in 'Southeast, The Lair of the Dragon - The Blue Ridge' started by KawDlr, Feb 21, 2009.
Didn't expect that did ya!:huh
Great clue's! My wife read a book a while back that contained 13 ghost stories in Alabama. She remembered one about a hole in the ground that would never fill up. Anyway, she did a search on "Ghost Stories in Geneva County" (cause that's about 40 miles due west of the last tag) and up came the Sketo's Hole story.
I got sucked in to the Hartford area pretty good by the clues, never could find one road with two numbers like 134/123.
Looking forward to the rest of the story!
man, sux to be stuck in orlando, i knew that one! cool reminder of some old 'bama' history jody!
WELL DONE EVERYDAY! Not bad timing either. That's 2hrs and 18 mins a record for SATOR! Seems like somebody's getting better at this game. I guess it's game on now. NO MORE EASY ONES!
Hey Travis, Wish you were here too, It sure would be a lot more fun if we could get more of our friends involved. Hope you had a blast at the races, you'll have to call and give me a ride report on that one.
OK Everyday, you nabbed that one in just over two hours, why the long wait to post the next tag? Been nearly 5 hrs...........
Like the late Paul Harvey would say, and now the rest of the story....
Kinda long so stay with me
<TT>Nobody has ever actually seen the ghost of Bill Sketoe, but people going</TT>
<TT>along the road from Newton near where the old bridge crossed the</TT>
<TT>Choctawhatchee river can tell that the ghost has been there. Invariably the</TT>
<TT>hole under the tree where Sketoe was hanged is clean, as clean as if a brush</TT>
<TT>broom or a pine top had swept it out.</TT>
<TT>Even if the hole is heaped high with dirt every day, the dirt disappears</TT>
<TT>during the night, and the next morning the hole is there again.</TT>
<TT>Bill Sketoe, whose ghost apparently keeps the hole cleaned out, was born</TT>
<TT>in Madrid, Spain, on June 8, 1818. When he was a little lad he came with</TT>
<TT>his father to Dale County and settled near Newton, a small town in the</TT>
<TT>Wiregrass section of Alabama.</TT>
<TT>There were not many Spaniards in that part of the country, and some people</TT>
<TT>were suspicious of foreigners. But Bill was a good boy who won the respect</TT>
<TT>of his neighbors and when he grew up he became a Methodist minister.</TT>
<TT>After he entered the ministry, Sketoe became known as "the Bible-reading</TT>
<TT>preacher from Spain," and he was invited to preach at churches throughout</TT>
<TT>the area. He was made pastor of a log cabin Methodist church at Newton, and</TT>
<TT>he was a kind pastor as well as a powerful preacher. It was while he was</TT>
<TT>preaching at Newton that he met and married an attractive girl, and they</TT>
<TT>built a home in the community.</TT>
<TT>When the Civil War began in 1861, Sketoe was one of the first men from his</TT>
<TT>county to join the Confederate Army. He fought bravely for three years,</TT>
<TT>being in the thick of many battles and miraculously escaping serious injury.</TT>
<TT>Then in the fall of 1864 he received a message that his wife was very sick.</TT>
<TT>Having come from a country so far away from Alabama, Sketoe had no</TT>
<TT>relatives to turn to for help. His wife did not have any close relatives</TT>
<TT>either, at least not any who Sketoe felt he could ask to stay with her in</TT>
<TT>Newton to nurse her. Sketoe decided that the only thing he could do was </TT>
<TT>to hire a substitute to </TT><TT>take his place in the army so that he could go home to take care of his</TT>
<TT>wife. It was not at all unusual for Confederate soldiers to pay other men</TT>
<TT>to fight in their places during times of personal emergencies. The asking</TT>
<TT>price for substitutes was about one thousand dollars, a lot of money for a</TT>
<TT>rural Methodist minister turned soldier, but Sketoe somehow managed to</TT>
<TT>scrape up the needed cash. As soon as his substitute reported for duty, </TT>
<TT>Sketoe jumped on his horse and headed for Newton, making the trip back home in near record time.</TT>
<TT>His wife was so glad to see her husband and so relieved to have him at</TT>
<TT>home that she began to improve immediately. However, her long illness had</TT>
<TT>left her weak and frail and Sketoe felt he had to stay with her until she</TT>
<TT>regained her strength. The threat of defeat hung heavily over the South in 1864 and the</TT>
<TT>Confederacy was in desperate need of every soldier it could get. Under</TT>
<TT>these circumstances, Sketoe's prolonged stay at home began to arouse some</TT>
<TT>resentment and suspicion. A few of his neighbors, who knew Sketoe was a</TT>
<TT>foreigner, began to wonder if he might not be a traitor as well.</TT>
<TT>At Newton there were a number of men who had organized themselves to round</TT>
<TT>up and punish deserters. They called themselves Captain Brear's Home Guard.</TT>
<TT>There were some accusations that the Guard had been organized for the</TT>
<TT>purpose of keeping its members safe at home while other men were away</TT>
<TT>fighting for the South, but defenders of the unit said its members really</TT>
<TT>were too old or too infirm to serve in the military forces and that they</TT>
<TT>performed a commendable service for the Confederacy.</TT>
<TT>Be that as it may, the Guard heard about Sketoe's return from the Army,</TT>
<TT>jumped to the conclusion that he was a traitor and laid plans to ambush him</TT>
<TT>and give him a deserter's punishment. On the evening of December 3, 1864,</TT>
<TT>members of the Home Guard gathered at the foot of the bridge on the west </TT>
<TT>side of the Choctawhatchee River to </TT><TT>waylay their victim. When Sketoe appeared, </TT>
<TT>two men engaged him in </TT><TT>conversation, an apparent gesture of friendship to which </TT>
<TT>Sketoe responded </TT><TT>gratefully. He answered their questions about his wife's health and even</TT>
<TT>showed them the medicine he had gone to town to purchase for her.</TT>
<TT>As they talked, the other men who had been hiding in a thicket of</TT>
<TT>huckleberry bushes crept up behind Sketoe and slipped a noose of new rope</TT>
<TT>around his neck. Sketoe was a big, strong man, but he was treacherously</TT>
<TT>surprised. Although he struggled valiantly to escape, it was to no purpose,</TT>
<TT>His arms were pinioned to his back by a tight cord, his feet were tied</TT>
<TT>together. Then his captors shoved him to the ground the took turns kicking him</TT>
<TT>as they forced him to try to crawl in the deep sand. Tiring of the this sport and </TT>
<TT>wishing to get on with the punishment theyhad planned, the members of the "military court" </TT>
<TT>threw Sketoe into a buggy and maneuvered the vehicle to a spot underneath a stout limb </TT>
<TT>jutting out </TT><TT>from the south side of a big post-oak tree. This was to be Sketoe's hanging </TT><TT>tree. </TT>
<TT>At this time Wesley Dowling, who knew and admired Sketoe, came down the </TT><TT>road. </TT>
<TT>When he saw what was happening, he stopped and began to beg the Home</TT>
<TT>Guard to give their captive a fair trial. Instead of accepting this plea,</TT>
<TT>one of the men gave Wesley a hard cuff and threatened to hang him too if he</TT>
<TT>interfered further. Alarmed lest other passers-by should see what they were up to, </TT>
<TT>the men in </TT><TT>the Guard hastened their preparation for Sketoe's hanging.</TT>
<TT>They threw the rope over the limb and then asked Sketoe if he had any last</TT>
<TT>words. He replied that he would like to pray. This answer made the men a</TT>
<TT>little uneasy, but how could they refuse to let a man have a final prayer,</TT>
<TT>particularly if the man was a preacher? So they granted his request.</TT>
<TT>Instead of praying for himself, as they had expected, Sketoe prayed for his</TT>
<TT>tormentors. "Forgive them, dear Lord. Forgive them," he prayed.</TT>
<TT>This prayer so infuriated the Home Guard that, even before the doomed man</TT>
<TT>had finished praying, Captain Brear gave a sharp lash of his whip to the</TT>
<TT>rump of the red horse hitched to the buggy. The frightened animal plunged</TT>
<TT>forward, jerking Sketoe out of the buggy. Sketoe's neck should have been broken, </TT>
<TT>but in making their hurried plans for the hanging the Home Guard members had not </TT>
<TT>allowed for their victim's </TT><TT>height and size. Sketoe was tall, and his frame was not spare. </TT>
<TT>So the limb </TT><TT>to which the rope was tied bent under Sketoe's weight, and his toes touched</TT>
<TT>the ground. Quickly George Echols, a cripple, grabbed his crutch and used it to dig a</TT>
<TT>hole in the sandy soil right under Sketoe's feet so that his toes could not</TT>
<TT>touch the ground and his body would swing from the rope. The noose</TT>
<TT>tightened and did its deadly work.</TT>
<TT>News of what was happening near the bridge reached Newton too late for</TT>
<TT>friends to save the minister's life, but several men (among them Josh</TT>
<TT>Morris, Dave Young, Bill Ard and James W. Judah) went to the spot, took</TT>
<TT>Sketoe's body down from the tree, and laid it out in a cotton house across</TT>
<TT>the road. He was later buried in the graveyard at Mount Carmel Church were</TT>
<TT>his tombstone may be see today.
<TT>And in favor of the late Paul Harvey....And that's the rest of the story...</TT>
Good read and a solid tag. I have been researching all afternoon for a good tag and burned up my daylight. I have decided however, where the next tag is going to be. The area will not be difficult to navigate. The terrain will be urban, but the traffic an obstacle around all 19.
One more thing. Tag won't be posted till tomorrow afternoon, probably around 5:30.
WHAT.....:ddog 5:30 Are you banking on dark thirty before I get it figured out.
Keep in mind tagging after dark is ok too....
Howdy Travis! Good to hear from you. Hope your school is going well. Look me up when you get back and let's RIDE!!!
Way to go EveryDay!!! You Da MAN!!!
I can see that I'm gonna have to take it up a notch if I'm gonna expect to ever get another tag with you around...
Jody was working on my bike when you grabbed it so I have the excuse that my motor was in pieces while you were riding hell for leather to steal "my tag"...
At least my doohickey is now safe along with a few more mods he made for me, and I can now take it up a notch with my KLR to pour on the coal and pass you up.
Anyway... Dang it... I'll have to work for the next 3-4 days before I can get a day off so I might have to miss the next tag or two.
Anyway... Congratulations... You sre SMOKIN' HOT now and gonna be VERY hard to catch!
OH Yeah... So where's the new tag...
LDHunter, glad you got your Doo done. That's good piece of mind. I changed oil in mine and cleaned the air filter so I'd be ready for a week of tagging. I may do may check my valves again pretty soon. Jody mentioned you guys were going to be working on the bikes. I thought about riding over. I would like to meet up with you guys sometime.
Don't worry about catching me, I'm about to bail off into a big schedule change at work, so I'm going to get pretty wrapped up myself. I'll still be playing, but it's going to get more difficult.
Oh, had the wife looking at KLX's on line this afternoon. Gonna drag her over K of D one of these days to see some in person.
I wish you HAD come over. We were there all afternoon and only got home at around 10pm finally. Jody is a real trooper. We asked him to work on his day off because we were coming up from Tallahassee with a lot of work that needed to be done on both our bikes and he never flinched or whined.
He worked on them for SEVERAL hours and the charge was very resonable. Thanks again Jody!
EveryDay, try to stop and see me next time I come up. Of course next time you should wait until AFTER I get the tag and post it... <grin>
Gee... Too bad you'll have to work so much soon... Don't worry... I'll collect the tags "for you"...
Jody has a leftover 2006 KLX250S that is brand new with warranty he picked up from another dealer and I imagine someone could get a pretty good deal on it. I already have one or it would have come home with me on my bike trailer tonight.
I am a commercial jet wrench. I live in Dothan, AL. The Avatar was picked up on this sight.
So I am guessing that your back in town, from Daytona. Hope you had a blast. Now the vacation is over, what shift do you work?
New post is scheduled for this afternoon around 5:30 according to Everyday!
THE GOOGLE MAP OF TAGGED LOCATIONS HAVE BEEN UPDATED!
hey bob, go ahead and bring a tag down here for us! just gotta make sure it is on a weekend, and maybe tag it in my yard, and then maybe post it for me. haha
Jody has you spoiled...
Actually Crawfordville is outside of the tag area (Orlando too) so that dog won't hunt, but being a buddy of Jody's maybe he'll bend the rules for you...
So EverDay... Where's that new tag? :huh :huh
5:02 and counting.......
Impatient are we? ...you have 2 hours and 18 minutes. You better get moving.
I know where that one is but I don't have a chance to get there before a "local"...
I bet someone beats your record though...