Friday, March 01, 2013

Coker Creek, Cherokee National Forest

In the Cherokee National Forest, Coker Creek winds its way through a beautiful landscape in Monroe County. The meandering stream eventually ends with a series of spectacular cascades known as Coker Creek Falls before joining the Hiwassee River...
...Several books also reference a Cherokee princess named Coqua Bell (also spelled "Coco" Bell), a woman who attempted to make peace between the Cherokee and the white settlers.
"Some say Coco Bell was the woman who was wearing the gold nugget around her neck that attracted the white man to this area. The legend says she is buried nearby under a mound of stones. If you want good luck, you will add a stone to the pile." Reece added, "But if you take a stone away from her grave, the legend says you will be cursed with bad luck."
The above photos come from Brenda Stevens, a high school classmate of mine who now lives in Florida. She writes: "" Oh just hit me..the whole thing...being where Coco Belle was laid to rest, her burial place, to be blessed with the opportunity to lay a rock down...reverence personified..."
The text is from WBIR 10News reporter Jim Matheny in Knoxville TN, accessed at:
(where there is a little bit of video from the Creek...)
And then there's this:
Princess Betsy Coqua Bell was born 1764 in Pa, and died 1846 in in Ala. in route to TX. She married John Coker, son of Joseph Coker and Mary Nelley Aldridge.
 Includes NotesNotes for Princess Betsy Coqua Bell:
One favorite tale of Coker Creek Tn. involves Coqua, an Indian princess who did her best to settle periodic armed battles between the whites and Indians. She is also known as Coco Bell, Coyuu Bell, Cocoa Bell and Coker Bess. Later, she eventually married John Coker and supposedly became known as Betsy Coker. Princess Coqua was revered in this community and is said to have been buried in a special grave site, underneath a mound of stones and that she left instructions that anyone who wished to enjoy good luck should toss a rock onto her grave - but should anyone remove a stone from her grave, he or she would suffer a lifetime curse.
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drchoneydewcrm said...

Tim, wow the wonders of time... amazing how it brings us full circle, think all my education and i don't ever remember being taught about this, about the trail of tears.

It wasn't until I was in my late 30's i found out my great great grandmother was Indian. A tribe somewhere in Canada. Do you know my youngest child, born in a Florida Hospital..married a Canadian?! She now resides in Ontario and I have 3 Canadian grandchildren.

Today i long for quiet times spent in nature..i read your blogs and smile... tears stream though..landscapes may change, we capture what we may sharing echo's of truth..for future generations!

thank you my friend

Anonymous said...

I am the great granddaughter of Princess Coqua Bell!. As a child I loved hearing her stories about her. Very strong woman!. I am proud to be a part of her!. I have been told I am just like her!.

Morel Kpinchas said...

OMG good to know where I came from...

Her name was ann right?...
She were married to john...
My mom got the papers from the cherokee rez...

And I hope to connect with family..��

Morel pinchas

Scarlett Harvill said...

I am the great great granddaughter of princess bell could someone email me info on her my grandmother was a Coker her father was John Coker.