Monday, July 11, 2011
The Ghost of Shell Mound Park
Shell Mound Park holds old ghosts.
Shell Mound Park is the location of an ancient Indian archaeological site. The site is from the Mississippian Period and dates back to 1100 AD. The mounds were built over time. Archaeologists believe that the Native Americans came to Dauphin Island periodically during the year to collect oysters. It is believed that the natives came from the Bottle Creek site further North and gathered the oysters. Oysters were a rare delicacy and worth the long journey to collect. The mounds built up over centuries as the natives came, feasted upon oysters at this site, and then left their debris behind. Over the centuries the oyster shells became large mounds. When the natives stopped their feasting, nature took over and grew on the mounds. Trees and grass grew on the shelly remains of the Indian's dinning site turning Shell Mound Park into what it is today.
There is an area amongst these mounds, that is devoid of trees. Nature seems to avoid reclaiming this area and there is a desolation to it. It is said that this is where the natives buried their dead. Many locals and visitors to the park say that if you wander this area on a lonely night you can see a native woman standing in the middle of this quiet place, looking out. Sometimes she can be seen dancing and the sounds of native music can be heard drifting out over the park.