Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

May 19, 2010

Caddo Mounds adds 300 acres

NEAR ALTO — The Texas Historical Commission (THC) announced the recent purchase of the Texas Forest Service (TFS) operated Indian Mound Nursery site adjacent to the Caddo Mounds State Historic Site. The addition of this property expanded the Caddo Mounds State Historic Site from 93 acres to 397 acres, and now virtually the entire archeological site is protected through state ownership.

 “We are excited to be able to protect more of this truly significant archeological site and provide additional resources to support our goal of telling more of the real story of the Caddo Mounds,” said Donna Williams, Historic Sites Division director. “Although this additional property is currently not open to the public, we are working on plans for the development and use of this land with special emphasis on the interpretive and educational components of the site.”

 Plans for the purchase of this land began a few years ago when the TFS announced a change in function for the Indian Mound Nursery from growing pine tree seedlings to planting heritage pine trees and allowing them to grow to full size. The impact a full-size pine tree root system would have on the significant underground cultural resources was deemed adverse, as initial archeological testing of the site revealed at least nine prehistoric houses, possible graves, and other features.

As a result, TFS decided to move the location of the heritage tree program and sell the property to the THC to preserve and manage this land as part of the state historic site.

 “From a preservation standpoint, this land acquisition is a great success,” said Brett Cruse, Archeological and Military sites supervisor. “While our primary goal is to preserve this significant property, we plan to conduct additional archeological studies on the area that will include surveys to identify and more fully define the extent and features of the site.”

 THC is working with a number of partners to expand the interpretation of the site. Caddo Mounds contains resources related to the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail that runs from Mexico to Louisiana. New exhibits at the site will emphasize the impact and influence this corridor had on the development of the area and Texas. The THC also continues to work with the Caddo Nation on improving and expanding public education about the culture and customs of the Caddo people.

Caddo Mounds State Historic Site, a THC property, is the remains of a large village and religious center built by a group of Caddo Indians known as the Hasinai more than 1,200 years ago on the prairie overlooking the Neches River. Located along the historic El Camino Real de los Tejas, the site presents the culture and customs of the Caddo people through intriguing exhibits, displays and preserved burial and ceremonial mounds. For more information visit www.visitcaddomounds.com.

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