In prehistoric times, free-flowing mineral springs created sizeable salt deposits at the area known as Bledsoe’s Lick.  This mineral salt attracted game from the largest species such as Mastodons on down to the smallest of animals.

 

Humankind first visited the area during the Paleo period (15,000 B.C. to 5000 B.C.), leaving behind Stone Age artifacts.  Native Americans known as Mound Builders erected a mud-walled village just north of the springs around A.D. 1350.

 

In 1772 Isaac Bledsoe, a long hunter from Virginia, followed a buffalo trail to the mineral springs.  He was the first person of European descent to come into this area. Great herds of buffalo roamed the landscape when Bledsoe arrived, but their numbers soon began to dwindle, as their hides were in great demand.

 

mastadon
“The Mastodon Hunt” by Carlyle Urelle

In 1778-9 long hunter Thomas Sharp Spencer spent the winter living in the hollow of a giant sycamore tree about 50 yards south of the mineral salt Lick.  According to legend, Native Americans in the area were afraid of him because of his large stature, and he left huge footprints.  Today a stone monument marks the location of Spencer’s famous tree.

 

In 1789 Isaac Bledsoe became the first private owner of the 640 acres surrounding the lick/springs.  It had previously been reserved by the State of North Carolina as a public source of salt.

 

 

bison

Contact Details

Wynnewood State Historic Site
210 Old Hwy 25
Castalian Springs, TN 37031

615-452-5463
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