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The Florala News
Florala , Alabama
March 11, 1976     The Florala News
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March 11, 1976

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History acted At Paxton WAS REINACTED Friday evening at When a wagon train, complete with attacking Was staged in recognition of the nation's celebration. The crowd, estimated into the was the largest ever to attend an event in northwest Florida community. Dment at Paxton was the last to be staged wagon train entered Alabama. The ;" left Polk City on February 1, arriving in late Thursday afternoon on the last leg through the state. The train is destined for Pa., and is scheduled to join trains from country as part of America's 200th birthday arrived at Paxton in the early afternoon at Glendale Thursday night. There the Were honored, fed and entertained. encamped in Paxton at the former Florida Station Park where a chuck wagon supper was by the Paxton Ruritan Club. Thousands witness the shows and to wonder at the travel experienced by their forefathers. enjoyable events with authentic characters earlier times were presented: A group of University students traveling with the train of songs written especially for this event, the hearts of all those present with their of talent. :Tom Mathis of Paxton welcomed members of nd all those present. The Paxton High School Glee Club sang patriotic songs and music. a magician and trick dog show. event resulted when the Northwest reek Indian warriors "attacked" the wagon after dusk, capturing Florida Wagonmasters of Panama City and Shirley Craycroft of and Bob Etheridge of Pensacola, who the train, as hostages. The Indians did, allow the pioneers to pass across their lands, gifts and returning the captives as a They then joined their captors in peace pipe. After the mock wagon train Indians danced around the camp fire, each events of that day. train crew says that cordial receptions, received in Paxton, makes all the sacrifices VASCONsELLOS, 72 years young of, oined the Florida wagon train when it ity, Florida with plans to travel the entire Pennsylvania. . . . ,_ with a tremendous spirit and ,ooxs mucn years. She belan ridin at 68 years of age. but what she-will be tere with bells on as enters Valley Forge. But, there is some horse, Jake. He was already showing his master plenty of trouble bath at day's end Friday. is called by her friends, was riding him, his back was so tender he would try attempted to wash it. J PAXTON MAYOR TOMMY MATHIS presents pledges of rededication scrolls to Florida wagon masters Shirley Craycroft, center, and Cathy Benoit. BUFORD ROLAND OF PENSACOLA smokes peace pipe as Florida wagon master Cathy Benoit of Marianna and Chief Wesley Tomley await their turn. "MEDICINE MAN" M. H. STEWART, chairman, Northwest Florida Creek Indian Council, performs the "Blessings of the 4-winds" in the Muscogee language as W. V. Williams of the Coweta Indians in Pensacola translates. Chief Buford Roland and Florida Wagon Master Shirley Craycroft of Marianna look on. TOM WATT OF ANDALUSIA, owner of Tom's General Repair, joined the Bicentennial Wagon Train at Paxton. He and his son, Tommy, age 10, traveled with the train as it entered Alabama for special ceremonies at Florala and on to Andalusia. He said he would love to continue to Valley Forge but due to the fact that he was a poor man, this would be impossible. The beautiful surrey pictured was completely restored by Watt. He found it about 10 miles out of Andalusia in an old barn which had completely fallen in. The Summer's BarnsviUe surrey is a 1908 model. All the metal is original. Most of the wood has been replaced. Watts purchased the wagon for $25.00 and has turned down an offer of $3,500.00. His future plans are to begin manufacturing wagons similar to the one pictured. - THURSDAY, MARCH U, 1976 CREEK INDIANS PREPARE TO SCALP CAPTIVES. These Creeks were somewhat angry with Florida pioneers as they crossed Indian lands in Walton County Friday as they prepare to lift some hair from the heads of the nation's only women masters - Cathy Benoit of Panama City and Shirley Craycroft of Marianna. Bob Etheridge (kneeling left) of Pensacola, also was in trouble. The Indians doing the "Scalping"are (from left) M. H. Stewart, Wesley Tomley, M. V. Williams, and Buford Roland. GREAT PREFORMERS - Penn Stlate University students, travelling with the wagon train, resented a musical tribute, covering the history of the United States. The songs ranged from umourous, about mail order brides to the good things about America -- hot dogs, Grand Canyon, hula skirts, motherhood and aluminum foil. Alternating between guitars and pianos, the students sing of the man without a country, Phillip Nolan, banished from the United States never to return and honor great American from the beginning of its existence, including Lincoln and Kennedy. INDIAN DRUMS sounded in Paxton Friday night as Creek Indians were on the war-path with pioneers as they made their way across Indian lands in Walton County. Beating out the haunting sounds of the past were (from left) warriors Bob McDaniel of Pensacola, Henry Harmon of Pace, and Danny Crug of Pensacola, all decendants of Northwest Florida Creek Indians. TOM GIBSON AND HIS TRICK DOGS were an enjoyable attraction at the encampment.