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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Alto in Cherokee County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Mound Prairie

 
 
Mound Prairie Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Gustafson, April 19, 2009
1. Mound Prairie Marker
Inscription. Bulging out of the earth a few yards from this point, three prehistoric Indian mounds interrupt the prevailing flat terrain. Long overgrown with grass, the mounds and adjacent village (covering about 100 acres) constitute one of the major aboriginal sites in North America. From about 500 to 1100 A.D., Caddoan Indians inhabited the village, which lay near the southwest edge of a great mound-building culture. Called ""Mississippian,"" this culture once flourished throughout the present eastern United States.

Excavations during 1939-41 and 1968-69 showed two of the mounds to have had ceremonial purposes. One may have been capped with bright yellow clay and both apparently supported temples. The tallest mound (about 20 feet) revealed several major burials.

The village, surrounding the mounds but not settled before they were built, contained many round houses that probably resembled giant bee hives. Thousands of pot fragments, some pipes, charred corn cobs and nuts, and flint points were found in the area.

Centuries after its abandonment by the Indians, this region was again a center of civilization when, in 1690, the first Spanish mission in East Texas was built nearby to minister to the Tejas Indians.
 
Erected 1970. (Marker Number 6971.)
 
Marker series.
Mound Prairie Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard Denney, February 1, 2002
2. Mound Prairie Marker
This marker is included in the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail marker series.
 
Location. 31° 35.599′ N, 95° 9.095′ W. Marker is in Alto, Texas, in Cherokee County. Marker is on State Highway 21 8 miles west of Alto, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Just past Caddo Mounds State Park. Marker is in this post office area: Alto TX 75925, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Site of Neches Indian Village (here, next to this marker); The Joseph R. Rice Log Cabin (approx. 5.9 miles away); Mission San Francisco de Los Tejas (approx. 5.9 miles away); Chief Bowles' Last Homesite (approx. 7.2 miles away); Homer-Alto Road (approx. 11.8 miles away); Mt. Hope Cemetery (approx. 11.8 miles away); Site of Tassie Belle and Star and Crescent Iron Ore Furnaces (approx. 12.9 miles away); Ratcliff CCC Camp (approx. 13.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Alto.
 
Also see . . .
1. Caddo Mounds State Historic Site. (Submitted on July 28, 2009, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas.)
2. Caddoan Mounds, Handbook of Texas Online. (Submitted on July 28, 2009, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas.)
3. El Camino De Nacogdoches. The Camino Real, or Old San Antonio Road, ran from Mexico, northeast through San Antonio to here, then east to
Caddo Mounds Panorama and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard Denney
3. Caddo Mounds Panorama and Marker
Photo looking southeast
Nacogdoches and beyond. (Submitted on July 28, 2009, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas.) 

4. Casas Reales, San Antonio. The Camino Real, or Old San Antonio Road, would have passed southwest from here to the Casas Reales on the Main Plaza in San Antonio, and south down into Mexico. (Submitted on July 28, 2009, by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas.) 
 
Categories. AnthropologyHispanic AmericansNative AmericansNotable Places
 
Panorama from the top mound image. Click for full size.
By Richard Denney
4. Panorama from the top mound
Looking northwest. Back of marker visible lower left of photo.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas. This page has been viewed 1,664 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Steve Gustafson of Lufkin, Texas.   2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Richard Denney of Austin, Texas. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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