Is Your Gwinnett Home on an Ancient Indian Burial Ground?
Only 160 years ago, Gwinnett County was Cherokee and Creek Indian territory.
"History of Gwinnett" is a column that will run once a week. We will feature historic places, people and events. If you have any suggestions for future columns, email Crystal.Huskey@patch.com.
Back in 1990, there was a big hubbub in Dacula, Ga., about a developer's plans to build homes, offices and retail space -- on top of an ancient American Indian burial ground.
How ancient? Experts say the site dates back to the time of Christ.
The burial ground was discovered by architect Patrick Garrow, according to the Free Lance-Star (May 1990 edition). He discovered 200 rock mounds, along with burial sites in an area of over 1,000 acres.
A 50-day "winter encampment" by locals and American Indian groups ensued after the county commission approved the project. At that time, American Indian groups were angry that they were not consulted over the development and the fact that it seemed as if no one cared about their sacred spaces. The protest was one of the first for American Indian rights in Georgia.
In 1992, the Georgia Council on American Indian Concerns was formed.
The area in question is in the Little Mulberry area in Dacula. It is now part of Gwinnett's green space. Garrow said in 2001 that "he applauds Gwinnett for saving the Little Mulberry area," but feels "politicians need to be more sensitive to these archaeological resources."
According to a 2001 Creative Loafing article, American Indian sacred spaces are abundant in Gwinnett, with over 500 recorded archeological sites. There was a huge prehistoric settlement uncovered in the Mall of Georgia area, and arrowheads, pipes, pottery and tomahawks found near the Snellville Historical Cemetery.
For further reading: History of Gwinnett: Scandal, Honor and Fatal Duels
Have you ever found evidence of American Indian culture in your neighborhood? Tell us in the comments.