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The ancient Indian mound in Oxford, Ala. targeted for destruction. (Photo courtesy of the blog Deep Fried Kudzu)

Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

The ancient Indian mound in Oxford, Ala. targeted for destruction. (Photo courtesy of the blog Deep Fried Kudzu)
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City leaders in Oxford, Ala. have approved the destruction of a 1,500-year-old Native American ceremonial mound and are using the dirt as fill for a new Sam's Club, a retail warehouse store operated by Wal-Mart.

A University of Alabama archaeology report commissioned by the city found that the site was historically significant as the largest of several ancient stone and earthen mounds throughout the Choccolocco Valley. But Oxford Mayor Leon Smith -- whose campaign has financial connections to firms involved in the $2.6 million no-bid project -- insists the mound is not man-made and was used only to "send smoke signals."

"The City of Oxford and its archaeological advisers have completed a review and evaluation of a stone mound that was identified near Boiling Springs, Calhoun County, Alabama, and have concluded that the mound is the result of natural phenomena and does not meet the eligibility criteria for the Natural [sic] Register of Historic Places," according to a news release Smith issued last week.

In fact, the report does not conclude the mound is a result of "natural phenomena" but says very clearly it is of "cultural origin." And while the University's Office of Archaeological Research does not believe the site qualifies for the National Register of Historic Places, the Alabama Historical Commission disagrees, noting that the structure meets at least three criteria for inclusion: its "association with a broad pattern of history," architecture "embodying distinctive characteristics," and for the information it might yield to scholars.

The site is also significant to Native Americans. The Woodland and Mississippian cultures that inhabited the Southeast and Midwest before Europeans arrived constructed and used these mounds for various rituals, which may have included funerals. There are concerns that human remains may be present at the site, though none have been found yet.

United South and Eastern Tribes, a nonprofit coalition of 25 federally recognized tribes from Maine to Texas, passed a resolution in 2007 calling for the preservation of such structures, which it calls "prayer in stone." Native Americans have held protests against the mound's demolition, and last week someone altered a sign for the Leon Smith Parkway that runs past the development to read "Indian Mound Pkwy."

A local resident named Johnny Rollins told the Anniston Star how his Native American grandmother taught him that when she died he could "go to that mountain" to talk to her:
 

"It seems like it's taking part of you away," he said of the demolition. "I always felt I had ties to that there."

Since the media began reporting on the site's demolition, city officials have revised their story and are now claiming that dirt from the mound is not being used as fill, despite earlier statements to the contrary. But eyewitnesses say they have seen workers hauling dirt from the mound to the Sam's Club development.

"I mean really, I went there, saw the giant trucks deliver the earth straight from the mound to the construction site, and I still can't believe what they are doing," writes the seventh-generation Alabamian behind the blog Deep Fried Kudzu. She shared the photo above showing roads for construction vehicles now cut to the top of the mound and has other photos and her story of visiting the site at the website.

'More prettier' than an Indian mound

Deepening the development's controversy is how the contracting has been handled. The force behind the project is Oxford's Commercial Development Authority, a public board that uses taxpayer money to lure businesses to the area. The CDA owns the land where the mound is located.

Alabama law exempts CDAs from bid requirements, which means contracts can go to whomever the board chooses. A recent Anniston Star investigative series about the CDA  revealed among other things that the group has awarded nearly $9 million in contracts since 1994 but has taken bids for none of them.

The newspaper also detailed the financial ties between the CDA, firms it does business with, and Mayor Smith's political campaign.

For example, the $2.6 million contract for preparing the Sam's Club site went to Oxford-based Taylor Corp., with the money for that coming in part from the sale of city property to Georgia-based developers Abernathy and Timberlake. Taylor Corp. owner Tommy Taylor, who has received thousands of dollars in city contracts for non-CDA work, donated $1,000 to Smith in 2004 and $1,000 in 2008, while Abernathy and Timberlake donated $1,000 to Smith's re-election campaign in 2004, the paper reports.

The Anniston Star also found that the CDA paid engineering firm Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood of Montgomery, Ala. $45,000 in engineering contracts for the Sam's Club project, with part of that money paying for the archaeological study. The firm contributed $500 to Smith in 2004.

An Alabama Ethics Commission official said the relationships could violate state law "depending on facts," but the mayor said he's done nothing wrong.

Meanwhile, the controversy over the damaged mound's fate rages on. After getting an earful from alarmed preservationists, Alabama Gov. Bob Riley (R) forwarded their concerns to the state Historical Commission -- but said his office has no intention of getting involved. According to the National Institute on Money in State Politics, Tommy Taylor contributed $1,000 to Riley's 2006 gubernatorial campaign, while Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood contributed $1,500.

For now, it appears Oxford officials are pressing ahead with the project. As Mayor Smith said in its defense, "What it's going to be is more prettier than it is today."

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re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

sick and wrong... how can this be called "progress?" Call it racism, call it ignorance, call it whatever you like this is just wrong.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Once again the Wal-Mart empire's greed and disregard for the community that it is supposed to serve is showing.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Don Siegelman knows a thing or two about Alabama corruption

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

This is just another example of white man's greed!

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Headline, Oxford Alabama, August 5, 2059: Controversial Old Sam’s Club Building Demolished

Considered an old city eyesore, demolition crews finally removed the old Sam’s Club Building within the city. City leaders welcomed the building’s removal as well as members from the chamber of commerce who stated that the unsightly and crumbling 50 year old utility building actually sat on the site were an historic Native American Indian mound was once located. Many of Oxford’s community leaders and residents expressed sadness when they learned that Leon Smith, mayor at the time when the building was erected, was responsible for destroying one of our community’s historic treasures which was estimated to be over 1500 years old…

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Never underestimate an idiot's capacity for greed, nor their compulsion to acquire more money and power, regardless of the consequences of their actions.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

It's the American Taliban at its finest.

Alabamans can blame the construction company, the mayor and the governor, but they themselves could stop it today if they truly wanted to.

If only WE THE PEOPLE stopped being "wee the sheeple."

That goes for the Native Americans too. Stop pretending to be disempowered.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

The site seems to be very significant, according to my preliminary study. I requested precise GPS data from the city and advised them of its importance to science. I have not yet received a reply.

When de Landa burned the Maya libraries, they knew not what they destroyed. Today we know valuable scientific information was lost, the most advanced astronomy records on earth went up in smoke.

This mound is a page of ancient history, part of a codex written on the earth. Oxford may be able to destroy part of that ancient sacred book. Like de Landa however, apparently they have no clue about what they are destroying. In the future, they will share de Landa's page in history.

33.603346, -85.778635
32.635265, -91.411638
20.682906, -88.568610

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

What an outrage! An outright atrocity! A death knell on a secure future for other preservation sites in Alabama's heritage. Shame on you Alabama if you don't raise up and PROTEST and corporately put a stop to this. Such sacred places are to be revered and cherished not destroyed. Is this the best you can do, Mayor Smith, to beautify? How pathetic!

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

This is absolutely horrible!!!
How can they get away with this? Doesn't this violate state and federal laws protecting Native American cultural sites?

I hope the residents of this community come together with the tribes and SUE and take this as high up as they can get it!

Dingus44, that was extremely racist comment! I am a BLONDE WHITE American (also an archaeologist) and I find this to be absolutely unacceptable!

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

JUST WHAT THE WORLS NEEDS ANOTHER BOX STORE GREED got the world into this problem and AMERICA HAS LEARNED NOTHING ANYHOW THE INDIANS would only build a casino on the sight so what the hell eh

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

who is landa? They built a golf course on one here in Newark ohio

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Mayor Leon Smith,
I read with disappointment about the development of the Native Ceremonial Mound in your city. This kind of business decision is very short sighted in terms of what income the burial mound could generate for years to come. It creates an additional reason for tourists to visit Oxford. Studies show that culture generates more revenue than any other investment. This is a non-renewable resource, once it is damaged it can never be repaired. I would think that you would not want your legacy to be "the Mayor who destroyed this asset" as well as the income that it will generate for all time.
Ad Mitchell

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

It's not about hate, it's about heritage.
(The heritage of white slave owners and their idiotic white sharecropping followers- screw everyone else's heritage, and screw General Robert E. Lee's order to "furl the flag".)
Let's do a quick peek at the bank accounts of the CDA crooks and see how many unexplained $20,000 deposits we find in there.
Slimey crooks sell their own town's history for a few pieces of silver.
Your grandkids will thank you for their ignorance.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Shame, shame.
Posted to Facebook to spread the news.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

What can we do? Is there a call to action here?

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Smoke signals? (chuckle) where did this come from... a 1950s cowboys and indians movie?

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

See: Relacion De Las Cosas De Yucatan
a manuscript written in 1566 by
Fray Diego de Landa, Bishop of Yucatan

1549 - Izamal had seven pyramids. Spanish used stones for the monastery of San Antonio de Padua founded by Fray Diego de Landa.

1562 - In Mani, the Maya capital, Diego de Landa ordered all Mayan codices, histories and manuscripts be burnt.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Well, we can only hope they find human remains, then NAGPRA will apply, as well as other state and federal laws. I also hope that concerned citizens, tribal members and archaeologists are watching that site like hawks -- the powers-that-be in Oxford have huge incentives to hide and destroy any human remains they find.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

On facebook. Holy ignorance. How can he even be mayor? Maybe he hosts the clan's annual BBQ.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

yeah, im from anniston, and this doesn't surprise me

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

I am from England & am amazed at the corruption that obviously exists in this part of America.
And to insult the Native American culture as they are doing is disgusting. Those people should be exposed, fined & made to do community service.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Shame on you that live in the town. Picket, picket, and picket the builders. Add Chaos and confusion. Boycott Walmart!

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

This is so shockingly wrong in so many ways, my mind cannot wrap itself around the fact that this is actually happening.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

who owns the land and for how long. pols know when to buy into things

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

I can only hope the ancient Native American deities will deal with the people responsible for this this travisty.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Actually "citizens, tribal members and archaeologists" are barred from the property!

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Let's just organize a boycott of the proposed Sam's store and let the company know what is coming.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

HOW CAN THEY BE STOPPED!!!!

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Oxford Town's got a nasty place in history. Anybody else remember Mr Dylan's song?:

Oxford Town, Oxford Town
Ev'rybody's got their heads bowed down
The sun don't shine above the ground
Ain't a-goin' down to Oxford Town

He went down to Oxford Town
Guns and clubs followed him down
All because his face was brown
Better get away from Oxford Town

Oxford Town around the bend
He come in to the door, he couldn't get in
All because of the color of his skin
What do you think about that, my frien'?

Me and my gal, my gal's son
We got met with a tear gas bomb
I don't even know why we come
Goin' back where we come from

Oxford Town in the afternoon
Ev'rybody singin' a sorrowful tune
Two men died 'neath the Mississippi moon
Somebody better investigate soon

Oxford Town, Oxford Town
Ev'rybody's got their heads bowed down
The sun don't shine above the ground
Ain't a-goin' down to Oxford Town

Copyright ©1963; renewed 1991 Special Rider Music

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

(Great Dylan song, but the Oxford he's singing about is 250 miles away from the one in Alabama.)

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Republicants - big surprise. No class and no HONOR. The townfolk need to get their pitchforks and torches are rout the buggers!

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Wow, how could Alabama be an any more horrible place? I understand that America is founded on genocide, racism flows through its veins, and lands that were taken from one were given to another - just as those who mostly subscribe to the republican persuasion detest; but damn!

I find it hilarious how the more "Christian" a population is, the more non-christian they act.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

I don't see a problem with any of this. The settlers traded the land, for what may be worth nothing, BUT payment was accepted by the native 'Indians'. These so called warriors then proceeded to initiate, far too complimentary of a term, attacks on the settlers. They got Pwnt by our kind, and the "Hey we had guns" argument goes out the window when you think of the size of either side's masses and also put into consideration who had the home team advantage, knowing the land and what not. Soooo.. white man wins, means white man owns, means '---- off' History of weak races isn't too friggin important, they let themselves be stupid enough to be bought out with worthless beads, proving they themselves had equal or more greed than whitey. That 'warrior skill and heritage' is a complete load of crap, ie Africa. I don't see the big deal here, a corporation decided that us 'lazy' Americans could use another store with great prices, provide a few welfare kids a job (while keeping them outta my ----in car), and boost the economy of a ---- hole town. We're still the freest country in all the world and still the most powerful (although the Bush Administration did lower the value of a US dollar), I think the tactics of the now US gov. seem to be OK, not perfect but OK, we'll never have the right to true individuality, but who truly wants that for all (ie, some like to corrupt children, some think it's ok to beat their spouse, etc.) In closing I think the town should use the dirt pile as a friggin dirt pile, and abolish racism by removing reservations for the people who somehow think their lives have been hardend by being natives.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Indian Mound Excavation For Sam's Club Destroys Politcal Career And Political Campaign Of Oxford Alabama Mayor LEON SMITH!
August 9, 2009

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

It not "white mans greed" is just greed. This seems to be inherent in some human beings. Yes you can stop this. You all are much more than you think you are. You do have the ability to stop this and all you have to do is use your brains. I mean thoughts and intention are powerfull. Dont think for a moment that you have no power, you do, so why not start to use "THE FORCE", ECSUSE the pun. Put these powerfull thoughts of intention in the right direction, and watch what happens..go ahead give it a try, doesnt matter if you are red man, white man, or not a man at all. Stop crying and build yourself a circle of intention and gather those of like mind . You have far more influence than you realize. blooperu will do the same..

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Wow. Remember the Taliban blowing up those ancient Buddha statues in Afghanistan? This kind of staggering, business-fuelled vandalism is jsut as destructive, disrespectful, short-termist and plain stupid.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

This is terrible. How would we like it if they Indians started knocking down our churches, digging up or building on top of our cemetaries? They wouldn't get away with it because we would kill them. This is SICK and needs to be stopped!!!!

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

The dumber-than-dirt mayor of a dumber-than-dirt Alabama backwater village. Wow, big surprise.

Now let's all hear it for how Lincoln kept these idiots part of the USA.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

they did the same thing here!!! a mound which was created by glaciers was removed from its location for a wal-mart. the soil was dumped in the FLOOD PLAIN of a very active river so a home despot could be built. we protested and marched, just laughed at and ridiculed cause we were against "progress".. the whole road now is filled with sprawl and junk-food fast food places. yuck.. it's all about the money!!

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

This is really disgusting. Alabama people should be down there protesting! I would if I lived there.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Another Sam's? Why? People just do not want to look at the truth concerning what is really threatening our very existence.I am sad about them doing this but they are always coming up with new ways to take our focus off of what really matters and right now for all of you Obama fans; How are you liking the change? He is directing more internment camps and planning to force the new flu vaccine on the population of this nation. I tell you do not take that vaccine!

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Another Sam's? Why? People just do not want to look at the truth concerning what is really threatening our very existence.I am sad about them doing this but they are always coming up with new ways to take our focus off of what really matters and right now for all of you Obama fans; How are you liking the change? He is directing more internment camps and planning to force the new flu vaccine on the population of this nation. I tell you do not take that vaccine!

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Well, it may turn out to be a horribly haunted Wal-Mart, but at least it will be more prettier.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Classic horror movie theme, building something over an Indian Burial Ground...this can't end well

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Has anyone considered contacting the Archaeological Conservancy;
5301 Central Ave.NE, Suite 902
Albuquerque, NM 87108
(505) 266-1540
www.americanarchaeology.org
tacmag@nm.net

They play a major role in saving american archaeological sites and have been responsible for the preservation of many threatened sites due to shopping center development !
Hope this info will be of help.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

This mound should be saved it is similar to Silbury Hill
in England in size/shape, and what other ancient sites are
connected or aligned on the mound?

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

i agree with everyone else, sick, wrong, shortsighted, selfish....
a terrible mistake. greed motivates walmart. boycott walmart!

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

What a disgrace ! I hope the walls run red with blood and the cheep Chinese home wheres fly off the shelves because of angry sprits ---- those greedy corporations

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

has anyone checked to see if it qualifies for the NATIONAL register of historic places?? since there is no such thing as the "Natural" register??? (i'm not so sure that was just a typo, but rather an intentional misrepresentation meant to mislead) furthermore, even IF it did qualify for the national register, that wouldn't protect it from destruction - that would only require line drawings and photographs - it would only set the project back a few years...

as a historian i agree the mound should be saved...taking the word of a politico with financial ties to the project is about as corrupt as it gets

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

a sam's club is not "more prettier" than a natural/native formation.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the fact that Leon Smith is Dixie Mob - always has been. Buford Pusser ran him out of Tennessee, and he winds up as mayor of Oxford. The 'good' citizens of Oxford don't hold that against him since he has helped make the weak sister of Anniston into the economic engine of the county.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

great argument. you obviously know a lot about history. loser

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

WHO ARE THESE CITY ARCHAEOLOGISTS? DONT THEY KNOW ITS A FEDERAL CRIME TO DISTURB THESE SITES?

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

what a f**king scumbag. totally wrong. parasites.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

as an archaeologist I am completely disgusted at this. The site should be preserved or at the very least if development is to go ahead then it should be excavated and recorded properly. However, it looks as if neither of these will happen. If I lived in the US I would be down there like a shot, protesting, boycotting and getting onto the local archaeological unit to help!!

Save this amazing site

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Every time Leon Smith, or Denney, or most council members are quoted, their grammar is abyssmal, their grasp of history obviously paper thin, and their capacity for truth or consistency non-existent.

This story has spread across the U.S. and even outside our borders. And Smith/Denney/et al are creating the picture of what not only Oxford, but all of Alabama, is!

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

I Believe that Dylan's song refers to the Oxford Mississippi riots of 1962, where James Meridith tried to become the first Black student at the University of Mississippi.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

You have not provided any facts that the dirt is being used at the Sam's Club site. Sam's Club spokesmen say it is not, but you have provided not evidence that it is.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Welcome to Sweet Home Alabama!

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

This is a fantastic comment. What a haunting yet accurate prediction.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

AS I've read the comments, I kept thinking about those very statues and remembering the horror I felt that such a thing could happen. But yet, here we are. In Oxford now and maybe Florence, AL next. There is a push on to move the Indian Museum from it's current location to another one nearby but thankfully it must have approval from TVA. But the Indian Mound there has been desecrated by the use of Round Up to kill weeds, grass, etc. I wasn't prepared for what I saw when I got there. What weeds that weren't killed are four to five feet tall and there are pokeberry trees. A shame. I only hope the ultimate destruction I feel coming can be stopped.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Sounds like what happened to Fenton MO about 9 years ago. See my web site for photos and info.
I have not stepped into a Walmart or Sams since.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

The point everyone seems to forget is that Sam's/Walmart did NOT pick this formerly beautiful hill to be despoiled for dirt for their store-they did not even know where the dirt was coming from & believe me-if I did not live here-I would probably be shouting boycott Sam's/Walmart just like you - they haven't done us any favors, but it was the MAYOR'S DECISION-it is his fault! He is a tyrant-he will find SOME way to get revenge against all us small ordinary people-but he & his rich cronies are immune to such!!They get the contracts and money floating around! I have already tried to reason with him on another project-he thinks he's omnipotent!!!! And, he has so much money, he is in this area!! I hate it-but I've fought my fight-and lost-and I don't have money or power to fight him anymore....If he even finds out who I am, he will probably stop ingress & egress to my home!! Believe me-he can and he would find SOME way to do it! You have to have money and power to fight him. We are NOT all ignorant hillbilly rednecks riding around in pickup trucks shooting everything in sight as depicted so much in the media and by people who don't know us-we have feelings and don't like it anymore than you...

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

this is a microcosm of what we are seeing on Wall St, and Gov't. The mayor is doing exactly what he sees being done on a larger scale in DC. and NYC.
Until it's illegal to buy off politicians with money to help them get elected so that the elected officials will then turn around and give non-bid work to their cronies, this will be standard procedure. Fight for the paradigm change in voting/elections. Vote for ISSUES, not PEOPLE. It's a beauty pageant and the "more prettier" ones win, whether they keep their promises or not.

Wake up and smell the corruption.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Hello all,
Here in California several of our ancestor's sacred sites have been disturbed big time !! Guess what, enough is enough....we are protesting. I encourage all natives to get up and make a stand on this. Enough of the ancestors are in cardboard boxes rotting away in museums or being dumped God knows where. Enough talking, now it is time to take a stand. Let your voices be heard by natives as well as earth people that knows the right thing to do. Ah ho

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Please help to save the Sacred Mound by signing this petition and inviting your friends too:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/3/stop-the-destruction-of-a-sacred-indian-mound

Thank you for your support!

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

This saddens me. As I read comments made by Mr. Smith I am convinced that Oxford has an ignorant man as their leader. If I lived in that town I would run as fast as I could to get away from such ignorance.To remove part of this country's Native history is truly a shame.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

I always hear about the corruption down South, now we can all see how it works. I imagine this is typical for thie whoe USA actually.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

in northern quebec (canada) the government decided to put a golf course on top of an old indian burrial ground. The local natives set up an armed blockade on the bridge preventing anyone to enter the site. eventually the plan was reviewed and changed. like you said apart you are weak but together you are strong. unite and change.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

What is the current status of this project? Is construction still underway?

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

sam's club is "more prettier" than our cultural resources? wow. the ignorance and corruption is astounding. as an archaeologist, i not only find this absolutely disgusting and deplorable but it also sets a horrific example for how to manage the gifts that were left to us by our predecessors. a special thanks goes out to mayor leon smith for continuing to perpetuate the negative stereotypes associated with the south.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

This is absurd . If the mound qualifies as a actual Archaelogical structure than it should be considered a historical landmark, and should be protected at all costs from the money-grubbing hands of the local government. If you really think about it , we dont need a sam's club , we already have a wal-mart, and to me thats enough. I say let them build their store some where else ,and leavethis beautiful piece of ancient architecture in piece.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

It is too late! All work has stopped on top of the mound, but it looks just like the picture in the article! It is destroyed!!! It looks as despoiled and desolate a place as can be. By the time the first comment was posted-it was too late. No one knew about it in this area and when it was finally "noticed", no one took action soon enough! It just sits there now....

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

First off, the whole smoke signal comment is the dumbest thing i've ever heard. Native Americans that inhabited this area never used smoke signals! I say "this area" because I live about 15 miles from Oxford. I am also an archaeology student at JSU. My professor is actually was actually in charge of the first surveys of the property. Upon telling Mayor Smith his recomendation to save the relatively small corner of the property where the mound is, Mayor Smith accused them of being "treehuggers" amongst other things.
Thats when they called in University of Alabama. They sent a guy fresh out of grad school who had never worked on an indian mound. And of course, he didn't know what to look for...he actually said erosion may have caused the mound, which is almost as stupid as the smoke signal comment.
For the record, there have been protests. A lot of them actually. I know because I went to a couple. The reason this hasn't been shut down by the govt. is because in Alabama, if it is on privately owned land then the owner(s) can do whatever they want. City of Oxford bought that land with no help from the federal govt. The only reason JSU was called in was because the US Army Corps of Engineers was called in to survey because they were planning on putting a lake in as part of a county sports complex in addition to the shopping center development. The engineers said they needed to have archaeologists come in and survey. And another interesting thing..JSU would have done the survey of the site for under $20,000, whereas, University of Alabama charged about $50,000. Mayor Smith chose UofA instead because he already knew what JSU was going to say and he didn't like that at all.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Thats oxford for you, going to be funny when the Sams Club is haunted. Just like hobby lobby was. Worked there for 2 years, helped build the place. Weird stuff was happening in that store every night when closing. Shelf's falling, glass breaking, and lights flickering when best buy's lights next door never did.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Unbelievable that such an ignorant & short sighted bumblepuss could be elected mayor.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Don't believe everything you hear from Oxford's rival city newspaper. Once the "mound" (size of a Volkswagon) was discovered, the city stopped using dirt from the "mountain" (which is not man-made) and pulled from a local lot. If it is so "culturally significant", why did the Native American Chief not show up to reconsecrate the site? Because it was raining! I guess it just isn't big enough for a casino. Always check your sources!

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

The City of Oxford has owned this land for years. This is a spin article. Sam's Club was originally to be built in Anniston (a dying town), but decided to relocate to Oxford for economic reasons. Jealous, much? The Sam's site is actually nowhere near the mound, which is a prayer mound and not a burial mound. The mound itself was never disturbed, only the dirt from the mountain where it was found. Excavation has been halted for months. Leon Smith...is of Native American heritage.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

i think that they are cruel, and if they cant respect the significance of the natives, then they need to move away!!!this is nonsense.i hope they come to haunt them!♥

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

so why all of a sudden they want to complain about a mound that nobody ever even pay attention to? Even though that's a bit too late to worry about the mound, its still messed up to do that. leave it alone i guess.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

The way I feel about it, Is that the only thing they are usong is the dirt. So why should it matter. I feel that if it isn't any bodies found in te dirt, Why should you all care. And then if you're not from Oxford. Why are you worried, You all are so damn ignorant. So if you're not from Oxford back the hell up and worry about your city and state

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Well I think that this a mess. I think , why in the world would they try to cut down trees and dirt from a historical site and build a sam's club.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Wrong Oxford my friend! This is Alabama, not Mississippi. Progess vs preservation......... We need economic progress while respecting the heritage and cultures of others as well. Has any one noticed that we are in a major recession? What about all of the areas in the country where companies have built over private cemeteries, or how about local, state, and federal governments exercising eminant domain privaleges. Oxford is a thriving, consumer and business friendly city with deep Native American heritage. There is a local Natural history museum that's one of the best in the country, that could do a wonderful job displayping and preserving the artifacts, and information from the excavation sight. I believe, and with all respect intended, that people get behind a specific movement or cause that they have no vested interest in, just to be voicing opposition, without knowing the facts. i believe we honor those from our past when we incorporate their cultures into our modern societies. God bless, the Native Americans, and the city of Oxford, who is trying to bring hope through employment, to a struggling county. Were any of you aware that the neighboring city of Anniston is riddled with crime, poverty, and per capita, the highest murder rate in the country. Oxford gives a future to those who may not otherwise have one. As for Mayor Smith, he is agressive in seeking busuiness, but also community and civic minded, building a city that is one of the most desired small cities to live in the entire country. Please don't judge until you know the facts.

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Wow, even though I shop at some of these stores I am sad that this was handled in such a unprofessional and unethical manor. Why decade after decade both our Governments, Industries/progress & preservation of historical sites/artifact entities can not coexist in some reasonable manor. We so need to keep/see our past and but we also need to move forward too!
I don’t think monetary fines for violations work – they usually have big pockets and the fines are usually just viewed as operational costs.
In Europe some Countries do fine perpetrators as to their affluence and not a set amount for some things – which could be a useful deterrent here in the US. (Speeding ticket for Joe-blo $200, Fat Cat 50k)
Hmmm... I wonder if a siesta in a jail cell could make a difference and ya I guess they would be in one of those Hilton prisons for well to do, but it would take a little freedom away and give them time to reflect on their past bad behavior.

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last time i checked NDNs only made about less that 1% of the US population. whats that term? "power by numbers" think about that.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

Seriously??? Can most of your comments get any more ridiculous? I have live in oxford for 22 years. Mayor Leon Smith has brought Oxford such wonder and amazement that you could not realize. I can remember back when oxford was a city of only about 8000 people, which was only about 10-15 years ago. Now its a city with HUGE economic growth and a population of maybe now over 20,000 people. If the mound is so sacred and such a historical site then why was it never noted nor mentioned to anyone when they went to receive the building permits? Only historical native site in Oxford that i am aware of is Davis Farm. Oxford was building a major sports complex not far from the site and struck remains. Oxford quit all progress on the site. I also love the comments about only in Alabama. Seriously i have travel the entire US and have been to worse places then here. Please get your facts straight before you go and accuse anyone of anything. Its blasphemy!!! In conclusion all i have to say is good luck Mayor Smith and i will defiantly vote for you new term as mayor since you have been ours since 1984.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

I've just found out about this thing,but I would like to add my own comments. First,there are only one federalized Indian tribe in alabama to my knowlege,the "porch creek tribe",however there are thousands of decendants of the "Creek"people in alabama,georgia,and northwest florida,most of us are deeply concerned,yet the u.s. government does not see us as anything,but assimulated groups of wanna-bees,yet the scientific process of dna testing would validate who we are.Never the less we do care but,alabama,georgia and florida don't want to be bothered with more indians{did'nt they get rid of us in the removal of the 1830's?} Nor, for the most part do our people in oklahoma by acknowleging us they put themselves at risk of losing many government sponsored programs,and truthfully we don't want to hurt our own,so now you can better understand the position taken by the government,i can hear them saying bull- the hill,everyone will soon forget! MVHAYA

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

thought i would update this board, there WERE some human remains found at a nearby site.........but....everything got dozed over anyway. in the end, a few people protested, and the state and feds did NOTHING. no more indian site, no more bones.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

I explored this mound as well as the fields on both sides of the Choccolocco Creek closeby back when I was studying anthropology at UAB in the early eighties. I discovered that this site ranged as far back as the Clovis Culture up to the Missippian Period in time. Back when I explored the top of the hill with the rock mound. I found that all of the rocks were of a size easily used in constructing the stone mounds used to cover the burial of Native American Chiefs throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains. There were also concavities built into the top of the mound large enough for children to have their Spiritual or Dream Quests.A Major Native American battlefield was discovered in the bend of the Choccolocco Creek on the south side while a village was discovered on the north side nearer the stone mound on the hill.
A concerned lover of Native American prehistory

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

I have more information concerning this site. It used to be owned by Vulcan Rock Quarries in the early 80's when I was working on getting my BSc in Natural Sciences and Mathematics with a minor in Anthropology. I found numerous greenstone or Hillabee Schist artifacts which were made in the same fashion as those found at the Ceremonial Complex in Moundville. The Native Americans at Moundville had control over the Hillabee Schist formations to provide that rare resource for the making of their Ceremonial Artifacts. This indicated the Native Americans at Davis fields had direct contact with the Native Americans at Moundville. I reported this and showed on a quadrangle map where this site was located in Oxford, Alabama but nothing ever came of it. This site is a very important site and should be declared a National Landmark due to it's relationship to the Ceremonial Complex of Moundville, Alabama. This goes beyond Moundville for Moundville is related to the Ceremonial Complexes in Mesoamerica. How can the people of Alabama in elected positions put getting rich over vital information and evidence linking the various cultures of Central and North America?

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

In the physical world Native Americans was brutalizied and ripped off. The spiritual however is a different game, I personally would not shop on a site that will be very cursed. You don't F-around with Native American spirits. Try them if your stupid.

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I admit he WAS a good mayor 10 yrs. ago. Have you gone to a city council meeting anytime in the last 3-5 years and seen this arrogant jackass have spittle fly from his lips, his face get red and rant & rave when ANYONE has the audacity to question him in anything? I truly believe he has a brain tumor or the beginnings of alziemer's - he does NOT allow anyone to question anything or he fly's off the handle. He was great to Oxford years ago, but it's time he retired and handed the reins to a younger, saner person. I cannot believe the rest of the council members allow this to happen just because he used to be good. Maybe he has had too much tragedy in his life the last 5 years, but he needs to leave!!! If you have not been to a city council meeting, please go to one before you say anymore about how great he is! Also, you know his good ole' boy friend Jim Morrow got out of the Cider Ridge bankruptcy he was in because Leon bought that for the city-they have lost money on that too-he helps his good ole boys too, too much! He even let Morrow fill in "Blue Springs" by Outback-it was a natural blue spring, had a mill village, church, families who grew up there-now it looks like a gravel parking lot-it was done so fast-no one knew a thing. Now it's too late=unless you have plenty of money to fight him-and I don't.....

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

it was in the paper that it was the dirt used for the sam's club. Everyone knew it, later Oxford bought the dirt from a Doctor who owns land on McIntosh road to be used for fill. All for nought, nothing has been done to the mound to keep it from being an eyesore, and Sam's has not done any buliding of a store. It all just sits there, looking uglier eveytime I pass by.

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

why the didn't built the sam club in another place

re: Alabama city destroying ancient Indian mound for Sam's Club

yeah he should be fired, and he needs to rot in jail. what a jerk.