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Discover the Ocmulgee National Monument History and Culture - 1900's to Present

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From ice age to space age, it is a memorial to the relationship of people and natural resources in this corner of North America.

Ocmulgee National Monument displayBullet1933 - A large portion of McDougal Mound is removed to use as fill dirt for Main Street. Motorcycle hill-climbing leaves scars on the slopes and summit of the Great Temple Mound. A group of local citizens are convinced that the mounds are of great historical significance and should be preserved. Led by General Walter A.Harris, Dr. Charles C. Harrold, and Linton Solomon, they seek assistance from the Smithsonian Institution, which sends Dr. Arthur Kelly to organize and conduct archeological excavations on the Macon Plateau.

Bullet1934 - Archeological treasures are unearthed. As the work progresses, a bill is passed by Congress to authorize establishment of a 2,000-acre Ocmulgee National Park. The archeological effort is largest excavation ever, until this time, undertaken in the country. Labor is provided by hundreds of workers employed under several Great Depression-era public works programs.

Bullet1936 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt on December 12th signs the Proclamation establishing Ocmulgee National Monument and directing the National Park Service to preserve and protect 2,000 acres of "lands commonly known as the Old Ocmulgee Fields..." Due to economic constraints, only 678.48 are acquired, including 40 acres at the detached Lamar Mounds and Village. Later, an additional 5 acres are added to the Lamar Mounds and Village Unit and the parcel known as Drakes Field is donated to the nation for inclusion in Ocmulgee National Monument by the City of Macon. The park presently encompasses 702 acres.
Ocmulgee National Monument
Bullet1940 - Great Depression Relief-era crewmen, including members of Civilian Conservation Corps Company 1426 stationed at Ocmulgee National Monument, are drafted into military service as the United States enters World War II. Man are sent to nearby Camp Wheeler which becomes the largest infantry training camp in the nation.

Ocmulgee National Park Monument signBullet1960's - An interstate highway (I-16), constructed through the Macon Plateau Unit, cuts the primary visitor use area off from the park's mile-long river boundary and causes significant hydrological changes to lands located in the river floodplain. During archeological excavation within the highway corridor inside the park, evidence of Muscogee (Creek) and earlier settlement, along with three human burials, are discovered. A number of important prehistoric and historic sites outside the park are destroyed or heavily damaged, including the nearby Gledhill I, II and III (where an Ice Age Clovis spearpoint is found by an artifact collector during removal of fill dirt for road construction), along with the New Pond site, Adkins mound, and Shellrock Cave. Archaic, Woodland, Mississippian and historic Creek villages and campsites across the river, such as Mile Track, Napier, Mossy Oak and Horseshoe Bend, are already damaged by levee construction in the 1940's.

Bullet1970's - The Swift Creek Mounds and Village, type-site for a widespread Woodland Period culture, is destroyed for construction of a Bibb County Sheriff's Department firing range. Dr. Kelly's early archeological collections, still under the care of the National Park Service, are all that remain of this large site, which was located on the Ocmulgee Old Fields near the Lamar Village Unit of Ocmulgee National Monument.
Bullet1992 - Descendants of Roger and Eliazar McCall donate almost 300 acres, adjoining the park's Walnut Creek boundary, to the National Park Service. The Archeological Conservancy accepts ownership pending legislation to incorporate it into Ocmulgee National Monument. The land, owned by this family for almost 175 years, has been designated the Scott-McCall Archeological Preserve.

Ocmulgee National MonumentBullet1997 - The Old Ocmulgee Fields are determined eligible to become the first National Register of Historic Places listing for a Traditional Cultural Property, or District, east of the Mississippi River. This distinction recognizes the area's great significance to the Muscogee (Creek) people.

BulletPresent - The park's staff, the OcmulgeeNational Monument Association, the Friends of Ocmulgee Old Fields, and the park's many volunteers remain dedicated to the mission of protecting and preserving this very special place for the enjoyment of today's citizens and future generations.

Phone: 478-752-8257 - Address: 1207 Emery Hwy, Macon Georgia 31217

See general and visiting info about the Ocmulgee National Monument here.

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Ocmulgee Monument History & Culture:

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Bullet1900's to Present
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