OAKVILLE INDIAN MOUNDS PARK
During 1991, Oakville Indian Mounds Park came about with the initial purchase of 26.7 acres of land by the Lawrence County Commission and the Indian Youth Leadership Project in Lawrence County that was sponsored by the Alabama Indian Affairs Commission through a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission. Congressman Tom Bevill was instrumental in the securing of funds.
The Lawrence County Commission, with help from the Lawrence County Schools Indian Education Program, sponsored and provided guidance to the project during 1991 and 1992. Children enrolled in the Lawrence County Schools’ Indian Education Program participated in the initial phases of Park development.
During 1991, improvements initiated at the Park included clean-up, road construction, fencing, disking, and seeding. A Park entrance sign, a picnic pavilion, fishing pier, steps to the ceremonial mound, and cleanup of the burial mound and cemetery were completed. The Park was dedicated on August 24, 1991, with approximately 3,000 people attending the dedication ceremony.
During the initial preparation of the land for the Park from 1990 – 1992, archaeologists from Mound State Monument, with the University of Alabama, conducted an intensive study in the immediate vicinity of the Oakville Indian Mounds Park and they identified some 100 archaeological sites at Oakville and surrounding areas.
During 1992, the park’s five-year development plan was completed, construction of the Indian village began. An archeological survey was conducted, and the museum building plans and specifications were completed and accepted by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs that funded $126,400.00 from the Land and Water Conservation Fund for the shell-in of the museum and office building. The Lawrence County Board of Education provided all additional funds for completion of the Museum and office building. The museum project was finished in 1995.
During 2000, an Alabama Department of Transportation Enhancement Grant was awarded to the Lawrence County Board of Education to purchase 14 historical markers that were erected throughout the Park and 18 markers that were placed at historic landmarks throughout the county. The Lawrence County Historical Commission provided matching funds for this grant to be secured.
From 1991 – 2002, the Oakville Indian Mounds Park has steadily grown into an 83-acre complex through a series of land purchases. The following list is a chronology of the Park’s expansion history.
1991 - The Lawrence County Commission purchased 26.7 acres of land with an Appalachian Regional Commission Grant.
1994 - The Lawrence County Commission leased for 99 years the 26.7 acres of land to the Lawrence County Board of Education.
1996- 37.82 acres of land was purchased with an Alabama Department of Transportation Enhancement Grant. Matching funds for the grant were raised from donations and gift shop sales.
2000 - 7.37 acres of land was purchased for the Park with donations and gift shop funds.
2002 - 12.5 acres of land was purchased for the Park with donations and gift shop funds.