Moody Forest is the story of a forest and swamp on the banks of the Altamaha River. A remarkable family preserved this gem, but it was nearly lost when Miss Elizabeth Moody, the last of the three heirs that had held the forest in trust, died in her ninth decade. The forest became part of her estate with numerous heirs who decided to sell the land.
Janice Ray edited this unique book, which includes stories written by family members and friends who had known Miss Elizabeth and her brothers. She also wrote a portion of the book which reveals how several timber companies bid on the land, but The Nature Conservancy outbid them all. Ray also speaks of visiting Miss Elizabeth in her home during her final years.
The other stories in the book give the history of the land and the family. Some speak of wildlife sightings, and one tells of a famous hunting dog. Monochrome photos show Longleaf Pine trees 200 years and older and Cypress as much as 600 years old. Much of the forest had never been logged, and even one of the loggers who cut part of it to pay estate taxes spoke of how losing it would be a shame.
That loss was avoided, and portions of Moody Forest are open for public use today. I hope to see it someday. Although I have visited a primeval tulip tree forest, I have never seen a mature longleaf pine or cypress forest.