Books & Essays
The Dodge Land Troubles, 1868-1923
2004 (co-authored with Chris Trowell)
Widow of Sighing Pines
After the end of the War Between the States, in 1868, the piney woods area of Georgia is invaded by the timber magnate, William E. Dodge, and his sons of New York. For forty years, they harvest five hundred square miles of the finest longleaf yellow pine timber in the world, which is rafted or sent by rail to the port cities of Darien and St. Simons, where ships from other countries anchor to take it onboard.
Though the Dodges have questionable deeds to this land, the local people have their own deeds. A land war ensues. The forty-year timber war in the piney woods of Georgia becomes the personal struggle of a Northern widow and a Southern backwoodsman in post-Reconstruction South.
Katharine Fremont, widowed when her husband is killed, allegedly by angry ?squatters,? is advised to hire the Southern backwoodsman, Micah MacRae, known to be the leader of the beleaguered ?squatters,? but the best raftsman on the rivers, to cut and raft her timber.
To insure that she obtains the best price for her timber from the corrupt Darien timber inspector, she decides to ride her own raft of logs to Darien. Too, this wild trip on the Ocmulgee and Altamaha rivers with Micah MacRae should free her from her attraction to the ?best damn timber pilot on the three rivers.?
According to many readers, the highlight of Widow of Sighing Pines is the authentic rafting trip down the Ocmulgee and Altamaha rivers. To prepare for writing the novel, Jane Walker spent many hours on the rivers, learning about the tides and the dangers inherent in rafting the giant timber to the coast.
Book Review #1:
"A love story as beautiful as the landscape that engendered it." Janisse Ray
Book Review #2:
Bill Boyd, writer for the Macon Telegraph, said: ?But let me say this about Jane Walker?s writing ability: She can weave a tale of danger and romance as well as anyone, and...the characters she creates seem real enough to touch....?
Book Review #3:
Patty Proctor, Guide to Georgia, said: ?The book is well-researched; well-written; a captivating story; an interesting way to learn Georgia history.?