Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Meaning of Ooltewah?

There are many versions of how the word Ooltewah came into being. Everyone seems to have their own idea and everyone believes that their version is the gospel. Why would someone name a town, Ooltewah?
 Who can even pronounce it properly? (hear it here)
Who can spell it?    O-O-L-T-E-W-A-H

I will continue to bring you examples of some of these theories. Here is one from an unknown newspaper. I do not know where or exactly when it was published, except the date of 1890, that is recorded on the copy itself. This theory is that the name came from the Creek Indians. This area was populated with many Creek and Cherokee Indians before the Americans began to infiltrate this beautiful land.

Ooltewah is frequently the subject of question and its meaning and derivation are interesting. It comes, not doubt, from the Creek "Ui," pronounced Ooee, meaning water, and Tewah, or resting place. Literally, the liquid syllables mean "resting place by the water." Wah was the last syllable of the Indian name for Great Spirit and was used to denote great in other senses as well. When the Indians meant very great they said wah wah. It can be believed that the beautiful site of Ooltewah was mentioned by the Indians in what would be a long sentence in English: "The Great Spirit has given us a resting place by the river."

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