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Chickasaw Heritage Park

memphis mississippiriver outdoors recreation

Adjacent to the National Ornamental Metal Museum is the Chickasaw Heritage Park, which I had no idea existed until I saw it when I visited the museum last week. I determined that it was worth investigating at a later date, and a few days after I suited up Shelby the Dog and headed over. Immediately at the corner of the park you see the statue of a Native American woman.

Her back has what I think are the names of several tribes that lived in the area inscribed on it. It's easy to forget our Native American heritage in this city, but reminders of it really are everywhere. Many street names and towns around the region are named for significant people or their tribes.

Behind the statue you can see a large earth mound. It's hard to tell exactly the size of it, so I'll show you what it looks like with my dog at the top for scale. We both ran up, and only one of us ran down. She was channeling her inner mountain lion.

I haven't been able to find a ton of information about these specific mounds, and my U.S. history about moundbuilders is spotty, but they may have been burial mounds, or repositories for offerings, or been bases for temples, or even just there to show the gods some respect. There are, however, some markers there that explain their significance after the settlers found them.

This second mound, closer to the river, has a beautiful view of the river from the top. Not to be critical of the state of many of our city parks, I will say I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of beer cans and bottles. I counted three, but for a remote area open to the public I consider that to be excellent! It is interesting to see the way the top remains lower than the sides from its use during the Civil War. I'm guessing that tree in the middle came some time later.

On the side there is some brickwork, my guess from an archeological dig or something where they went inside. Maybe I'm totally wrong. I should take that back. Note the dog very content at her position atop of this mound.

I'll be back with the dog, and hopefully some other people to show off this little jewel tucked away on the south end of downtown.

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