Oh The Irony That Oxford Will Be Building A MoundMonday, July 11, 2011
There have been some developments with the story regarding the destruction at the Davis farm site and the stone Indian mound in Oxford. A few pics to get started:
Almost a year ago, the antebellum home at the Davis farm in Oxford was burned to the ground by an arsonist. This is how it used to appear, on top of a mound:
In the 1500s the space where the Davis farm sits was called Ulabahali and was one of the sites where DeSoto was believed to have visited.
This is how the site appears today now that the house is gone:
Looking across the field, you can see Signal Mound, the stone mound on top of this hill:
You have to cross "Leon Smith Parkway" to get there. If you've followed this story for a while, that fact may make you bristle.
The top of the mound:
Trucks and tractors went up on the hill that the stone mound is atop to get fill-dirt for what the city of Oxford hoped would one day be a Sam's Club. Many of us wrote to their corporate (here are the answers I got from them after my inquiry). Due to public outcry, or the economy, or whatever...there's no Sam's Club there today.
Back across the road is the part of the Davis farm that the city of Oxford wants to convert to a recreational complex. Their work has been stopped for some time now -- the Army Corps of Engineers stepped up when they found out that they had not been notified that ancient remains had been found there.
It's cost the city a small fortune now. Maybe it could have been foreseen that an area with 24 archaeological sites including a temple mound and village areas (according to an expert) wasn't going to lend itself easily to development. But anyway.
Here's the latest:
Mayor Leon Smith has signed an agreement with the Muscogee Creek Nation in Oklahoma, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Alabama Historic Preservation Office to restart the development.
In a move that seems odd to me, the Muscogees stipulated "that the city take stones atop a hill behind the Oxford Exchange on Interstate 20 and use them to build a new mound near the sports complex construction site."
So the city is going to move historically and culturally significant stones (which were placed there in a very intentional, very important pattern) across the road and that the city then build a new mound (the thought of the city of Oxford building a 'new' mound...ugh...).
The city is to also apply with the National Park Service to have the National Registry of Historic Places place what was the Davis farm it on its listing. That should have been done long ago.
Once the stones are removed from the stone mound, the city can do what it wants with the hill.
Here's the whole thing.