|Scenery and local residents of the Old Stone Fort, TN|
I made the classic move; I skimmed the signage, then hit the trail, wondering, "Where's the stone fort?" After circling through the woods, and running into the same pack of deer over and over, I finally circled back and realized that the low mounds at the entrance of the park were the "stone fort." Originally, three sections of wall made of rocks and earth encircled the area. They were once 4-6 feet tall (Faulkner); however, time has worn down the walls and soil has completely covered the rocks. The entrance way is marked by two taller "pedestal mounds" (Faulkner). This site, occupied for thirteen generations, beginning in the Hopewell Era, is believed to be a ceremonial site (Potter 252), and five Hopewell settlements were were located nearby. No burials have been found on the site, so the "Fort" is thought to be an ancient astronomical observatory (Faulkner).
|Remnants of earth-covered walls at the fort's southern entrance|
The museum, when it finally opened, was mainly filled with maps and lithic tools. The park hosts annual flint knapping gatherings. The park also has camping, picnicking, playgrounds, hiking trails, and bathrooms, which house exciting and interactive living spider exhibits.
- Faulkner, Charles F. "Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park." The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture 2.0. 23 Feb 2011.
- Potter, Susanna Henighan. Moon Handbooks: Tennessee. Berkeley, CA: Avalon Travel Publishing, 2009.