Believed to be crafted “within a century or so of 700 a.d.,” by a southeastern native american, the Blind Wolf Pipe was found in Macon County in 1940 by Sherman Willis. It was kept in Willis’ home until his death, never sold, but shown with pride and according to Willis’ daughter Janice Tuttle absolute delight to visitors to the rustic home. Today, it resides in a vault at the Macon County Bank & Trust in Westmoreland. It is mesmerizing in person. Simple and powerful.
Tuttle says, “my daddy found it in 1940. He was turning corn ground and he ploughed it up. He was using a mule and a plough. He picked it up and looked at it and he thought it was a manifold off an old tractor. He threw it off into the ditch. But, as he thought about it, he said he thought it was too heavy to have been an old manifold, so he went back and got it and cleaned it off and of course saw what it was.”
The pipe is made out of steatite or soapstone. It is the length of an average arm and about as wide. While researching it’s history, H. C. Brehm and Travis Smotherman, who published The History of the Blind Wolf Pipe, in 1984 (Mini-Histories Press, Nashville, TN) found only two references. The first was found in a Memphis newspaper on June 21, 1944. The second was found in a journal of the Tennessee Archaeological Society, the Tennessee Archaeolist, in 1948 and included a paragraph and a photograph.