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Ouiski Chitto Creek

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Ouiski Chitto Creek

There’s a spring-fed creek that runs through Allen, Beauregard, and Vernon parishes in central Louisiana. This tributary to the Calcasieu River and located between Mittie and Reeves Louisiana is named  Ouiski Chitto Creek. I had to google that because I couldn’t remember how to spell it. I could always read and pronounce it because I just always knew. If you weren’t from the area though the name on the bridge across the creek was pronounce every-which-way but the right way!

Aunt Letaine and Uncle Rigsby owned a camp on a high bank along the Ouiski Chitto Creek. Stepping out the back door you landing on a cement walkway ingeniously fenced in on the creek-side so you wouldn’t go tumbling down the steep cliff to land in the cold clear water below. I stayed close to the camp side of the walkway whenever I had to take that route.

This was a wonderful camp and not too far from home. A short walk away took us down a bank to the deeper water of the creek where we could splash and swim in the cold water on hot summer days, being careful not to get caught up in the current and swept away under the bridge.

A hike through the woods in the other direction brought us to a sandbar where Aunt Letaine would take picnic lunches and we would spend the better part of the mornings playing in knee deep water and resting on the clay colored sand. When the mosquitos got the best of us we would return to the camp for afternoon naps. Aunt Letaine was a believer in naps.

This camp was built with rough wood inside and out and I remember it being painted a barn red color. Daddy longleg spiders loved this wood and I don’t think I ever got much sleep when I was there because I was so afraid of those spiders which Aunt Letaine said would not harm a fly.

I now believe she was wrong on that point because I googled that too. I had a reason to be afraid – kinda.

“Daddy-longlegs are generally beneficial. They have a very broad diet that includes spiders and insects, including plant pests such as aphids. Daddy-longlegs also scavenge for dead insects and will eat bird droppings.”

Anyway, they were scary and crawly. I stayed as far away from the wall as I could when sleeping and since they liked to camp out in the shower when not hanging around the bedrooms,  I considered  my swim for the day also my shower for the day!

When I looked up the spelling of the creek I also found out this bit of information. The United States Board on Geographic Names, the official arbiter of geographic names in the United States, decided in 1963 that the official name for the creek is spelled Whisky Chitto Creek.

It will always be Ouiski Chitto Creek to me. 

~Elle

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About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

6 responses »

  1. Not sure but it is likely the arcadian connection to Louisiana, that gives it it’s name..? Cheers Jamie

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    • Here’s the explanation for the name. It was given by a native American tribe and later adopted by settlers, an anglicization of “Ouiska Chitto” (“Big Cane Creek”). The Choctaw words were uski for cane and chito for large.

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  2. Sounds like a fun summer camp for kids of all ages . . . right in the crook of the creek with deep water on one side and shallow sandbars on the other.

    Love the misspelling of Whisky that led to the creek’s name.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • It was very fun! We never stayed but a few days at a time so it never got old. Actually the word wasn’t misspelled. Here’s the history behind the spelling of Ouiski Chitto 😉 – The name was given by a native American tribe and later adopted by settlers, an anglicization of “Ouiska Chitto” (“Big Cane Creek”). The Choctaw words were uski for cane and chito for large. ~Elle

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