The Florida city of Chattahoochee is bringing back a lost part of its culture and landscape.
The first loads of dirt have been brought in to begin the restoration of a prehistoric Native American mound that was destroyed more than 30 years ago.
Restoration of the lost mound was recommended by Dr. Nancy White, PhD, of the University of South Florida in her archaeological survey of the note Chattahoochee Landing Mound Group. The site once included seven prehistoric platform mounds but only three remain today. The restoration project will bring back one of the destroyed mounds to create a fourth.
The project was organized by Chattahoochee Main Street, the City of Chattahochee and Old Kitchen Media (parent company of Two Egg TV). Design work for the project was donated by David H. Melvin, Inc. Consulting Engineers of Marianna.
The site of the lost mound was relocated and its design was determined from the descriptions of local residents who remember seeing it prior to its destruction. The mound was on private property when it was destroyed, but the site is now on public lands.
The purpose of the project is to restore one of the mounds to its original shape so it can be used as a display and interpretive station where visitors can learn about the mounds, their purpose and their configuration.
The only surviving part of the original mound is a section held in place by the roots of a tree. That section will be surrounded by a special fabric so future researchers can distinguish the original from the restoration. The rest of the mound will then be restored around it.
Researchers believe that the construction of the mounds began during the Swift Creek era. This culture dates back to the around the 100 A.D. in the area. Georgia’s Kolomoki Mounds and Florida’s Crystal River site also date from this time period.
The Chattahoochee Landing Mound Group remained in use through the middle Fort Walton time period before being abandoned somewhere around 1,000-1,200 A.D.
The seven mounds are believed to have been platform mounds, meaning they were used as bases or platforms for important homes or ceremonial structures. Associated village areas were located north and south of the mounds, as well as across the river.
The restoration project will take several months to complete and most of its cost is being funded through donations. If you would like to help with a donation, please contact Chattahoochee Main Street at (850) 663-2323 or (623) 249-0076. You can also reach them by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City of Chattahoochee and Gadsden County are providing labor, dirt and other assistance.
To learn more about River Landing Park, site of the Chattahoochee Landing Mound Group, please enjoy this video from Chattahoochee Main Street, Visit Florida and Two Egg TV: