The announcement that the Ingomar Mounds historic site will receive $40,000 in federal tax money to help develop its educational and tourism potential is good news.
A grant request, made by Jill Smith, director of the Union County Historical Society and Heritage Museum, has been approved by the Appalachian Regional Commission. The approval was announced by U. S. Rep, Travis Childers.
In addition to the federal money, another $44,200 from local sources will go into the project.
The local money includes about $30,000 in paving work for a parking area and driveway from Union County.
Smith said the federal money will be used to construct a walking trail around the site, install steps up the steep grade of the mound, provide signage and construct an outdoor classroom.
A similar mound in rural Tennessee receives more than 30,000 visitors a year, she said. Generating that many visitors to the Ingomar Mounds site also would be good news for our county.
The 60-acre site includes the large visible mound and 11 to 13 invisible mounds. The site was originally visited a team from the Smithsonian Institution in 1890 and a map of the site was produced in 1894, Smith said.
Ingomar Mounds was built during the Middle Woodland prehistoric period, sometime between 1,425 and 2,390 years ago. The site is believed to be about 2,200 years old.
The site was privately owned until 2003, but is now owned by the Archeological Conservancy, a private non-profit group dedicated to preserving important native sites.
Preserving our history is what our local historical society and museum is all about and we congratulate Smith and everyone connected to the society and the museum for getting this first major grant for Ingomar Mounds.