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Home On The Mound

Friday, August 21, 2009

I've posted a few times before about the destruction of the mound in Oxford (last post here) and a couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by someone who grew up very close to the area of the mounds (there historically were several mounds here). This is the area known as the Davis Farm, which in the 1500s was part of a city called "Ulabahali" and is believed to be one of the sites that DeSoto visited during his trek through Alabama.


This is the home that Thomas Carver built there in 1850 near a natural boiling spring. I've seen it mentioned that the home was built on top of one of the mounds. Last weekend, we drove out to see the house and area. It's only about a mile from the Oxford stone mound that is the subject of so much controversy. In this picture you can see the elevation that the house is on:

This is a bit better view of it:


The main ceremonial mound on the farm was almost 40' high (it's now only about 5'). The Davis Farm was put on the Alabama Historical Commission / Alabama Preservation Alliance / University of West Alabama 2005 'Places in Peril'.

From the home, this is the view of the stone mound (Signal Mound):

This bridge nearby goes over the Choccolocco creek, along which was the historical town that DeSoto visited. Over this bridge - which you can no longer cross via car, there's a barrier up - were more mounds.


Pat Snow was generous enough to share these photographs below, and this description:


That mound is not the only mound in the area, but is the last to be disturbed. Across the street sits a house on Boiling Springs Road. The house I believe pre dates the civil war and that house is built on top of another Indian mound. The mound has an artesinal well coming out of it. Also while there was farming in the area you could see the remain of more mounds in the area. These mounds were part of a complex of dwellings and mounds that followed on the western bank of the Chocolaca (sp) Creek all from the Signal Mound all the way to the present day airport. While I was in high school I would go to the farm land in the spring after the fields had been turned and the first rain had come and would look for artifacts. I would find arrow points, shards. I would also find other artifacts like game pieces, hoes, grinding stones and decorative stones. I also found remants of post holes for circular dwellings.





Pictures of some other things excavated from the Davis Farm are here.

Yesterday, the Anniston Star published a report that a landowner has come forward saying that dirt from his land will be used for the Sam's site rather than the city continuing to use the hill/mound. Also, a sinkhole has developed on the Sam's site. The article reads in part:


In an unrelated move, the owners of the hill, the city's Commercial Development Authority met Wednesday to deal with a sinkhole found on the Sam's site. Members authorized putting $350,000 into an escrow account to reimburse Sam's for the cost of fixing the sinkhole.

...which...Sam's was so adamant in their response to my questions that they did not own any of the land that was under development, I'm curious as to why Sam's would be on the hook for fixing the sinkhole if the CDA is really the one responsible for site prep. Right?

Channel 13 in B'ham did a 'Fact Finder' report on the destruction of the mound that ran on their news yesterday:
On Sunday, August 30, a protest and reconsecration ceremony has been scheduled at the mound from 2p-5p.
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This Saturday the 22nd is the annual Dothan Artifact Show.

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