The cane swamp once located at the mouth of Kewee Creek gave its name to the community of Canebrake, West Virginia, the second point-of-interest on this driving tour. The cane is now gone from the community after a century of farming and then a century of coal mining, but Arundinaria gigantea still grows in small stands along the route of the expedition. Look for it along the banks of Tug Fork below Iaeger.
Kewee Creek may have been named in deference to Round O, one of the three Cherokee war leaders on the campaign who received military commissions from Governor Dinwiddie. Round O hailed from near Keowee, the head town of the Lower Cherokee settlements in western South Carolina. Lower Cherokees were often referred to as Keowee Indians. It is likely that the camp at the mouth of this stream was named after Round O’s head town. Ostenaco and Yellow Bird (Chesquoterone), also received commissions from the Virginia Governor.
On February 29, Capt. William Preston recorded:
“We followed down the several courses of that Crooked Creek passing branches which came in on both sides until we came to a Cane Swamp where we encamped.”