So many people think of South Georgia history as it relates to the American Civil War and, of course, to a certain American president, Jimmy Carter. However, this area has a rich historic Native American Indian background beginning over 17,000 years ago.
Paleo-Indians lived in this area during the Ice Age followed by the Mississippians, around 900 C.E. The Creek or Muscogee Nation came next and refer to this area as their ancestral homeland. Ocmulgee’s Earth Lodge is thought to be a Mississippian Council House dating back the year 1015. It is believed that the Great Temple Mound is also from this era.
During the 1830s, the indigenous people were relocated by the government under the Indian Removal Act. The Muscogee tribe founded a new capital in 1867 called “Okmulgee” in honor of their sacred mounds in Georgia.
During the Great Depression, in the 1930s, as part of the federal employment program, Ocmulgee Mounds had the largest archeological dig in American history. There were 600 to 800 laborers digging at a time under the supervision of Dr. Arthur Kelly. It was during this excavation that the Earth Lodge was uncovered and was opened to the public in 1937. Today, visitors to Ocmulgee continue to have the opportunity to experience the inside of a ceremonial mound firsthand.
So, if you like history, this is just a sample of the wealth of information to be learned by visiting Ocmulgee National Historical Park. But, it you just like to be outside in nature, there are 702 acres waiting to be discovered, with some historical facts thrown in as you wander.
Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn blog. We hope to see you in person soon.
Kim and Susan Egelseer