LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. (WAAY) - The 120 acres at the Oakville Indian Mounds is now enjoyed by fishermen, runners, and bird watchers. But thousands of years ago, it was a popular place for Native Americans.
"This site was a seasonal site and Native Americans were constantly coming back to this site so it has a very long period of occupation going back at least 10,000 or more years" says Cultural Resource Specialist Anna Mullican.
Permanent reminders of that Native American history still soar above the rural farmland at the Oakville Indian Mounds.
"Currently today we have 3 mounds that are left. We believe through earlier reports there were 5 originally. Through farming practices, two of those mounds were destroyed" says Mullican.
The largest mound on the property rises 27 feet high and covers one and a half miles and was believed to be a religious mound.
A Native American burial mound on the property is smaller but has an early settler cemetery built into the top of the mound.
The park is also home to more than 20,0000 Native American artifacts on display at the museum.
The park and museum are also apart of the Indian Education Program. It gives local students an interactive way to learn about their heritage.
"We have about 1719 students served here in Lawrence County alone," says Casey Reed who is the Federal Program Director for Lawrence County Schools. "We have one of the larger Indian Education Programs in the state."
Since the property is operated by the county school system, educating the public is one of their number one priorities.
"In this area alone, there are over 100 recorded sites and we are here to help preserve these sites from destruction and to educate the public to try to get them interested in saving more sites" says Mullican.
Go to http://oakvilleindianmounds.com to find out more about the park and their upcoming Multicultural Event on May 17th and 18th.