Mound Destruction Update

Saturday there was another organized protest about the destruction of the stone mound by the city of Oxford’s Commercial Development Authority. I’ve written about this before (post 1, 2, 3, 4); they’re destroying the mound by using the earth there as fill for a proposed Sam’s Club.

Here you can see the mound in the background with the site preparation going on currently:

This pic is of the “back” side of the hill (the stone mound is at the top of the hill), from a residential area:

This image has poor resolution, but it’s a close-up of the back-side of the mound, showing a backhoe and just how close to the mound the removal of earth has taken place:

The Anniston Star came to the protest and wrote about it. We were there later on and took some more pictures. This first picture was taken on July 9:

…and here’s the same mound on Saturday, July 18. There doesn’t look as though there has been more destruction of the top of the mound that we can see, but from this picture below, take a look at the tree I have labeled as “Tree #1” – it has a distinctive crook in it:

This picture below was taken by Thunderhawk on April 4, 2006 before the mound was disturbed. You can see the stones that make up the stone mound in this picture, and you can make out “Tree #1” with that distinctive crook from this picture also.

There’s another distinctive tree in this picture. It’s the one that you can see has a “Y” shape. That tree has been removed by the city (along with most *all* the other trees in this pic). Since the “Y” tree has been removed, look at all the stone mound that has already been disturbed.
Maybe at this point it’s not “please don’t disturb the stone mound” but “don’t disturb it any further”. The Anniston Star has reported that the city is not allowing journalists to go up on the mound to see what has taken place.
No wonder.
Contact information for the city, Sam’s Club Corporate / Wal-Mart, the Governor, and the Alabama Historical Commission is at the bottom of this post.

Just one last really quick thing: the city of Oxford and this area would really be so much more well-served to preserve their Native American structures and promote them. Besides this mound, which is the largest known stone mound in the state, exists – and these are just things I can think of at the moment:

* The Davis Farm Archaelogical Complex that at one time had a nearly 40′ high temple mound. The farm was included in the 2005 Alabama Places in Peril. The farm is not even a mile from the site of the stone mound that’s being destroyed at the Oxford Exchange.

Presently, all that is left of the mound structure is its base. Now standing at only five feet high in what is presently the Hudgins sod farm property, Holstein believes the base of the mound contains buried Mississippian and possibly the elusive 16th Century Spanish artifacts.

“It was the focal point of the community, and the largest structure in Calhoun County until the 19th century,” said Holstein.


Holstein also believes the site would be ideal for a museum documenting the prehistoric and colorful historic past of the property. “We have a lot of artifacts from our excavations [that could be displayed there], and many private collectors have found some amazing ceremonial artifacts in and around the mound.”

The home site is located in the only undeveloped spot in the vicinity. Holstein hopes preservation-minded people will remove the property from the market.

“We need to get people interested in this, and we need money [to purchase the land],” Holstein said, who believes the land could serve the area well as a rest area and information center.

* The Chief Ladiga Trail, a rail trail (eco-tourism), named after a Creek Indian leader who once owned land in this area. Pics of the trail here.
* The snake stone effigy atop Skeleton Mountain at Fort McClellan (see pg. 14 of this pdf)

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