Located in the southeastern portion of Lawrence County, Oakville Indian Mounds Park and Museum is shaded by the 180,000 acre William B. Bankhead National Forest and shares the treasures and remaining vestiges of the great Indian hunting grounds. Bankhead is encompassed by part of the Warrior Mountains, the western terminus of the Appalachian Mountains. With its prolific wildlife, waterfalls, caves and deep gorges, Bankhead is one of the Southeast’s premier sites for petroglyphs, prehistoric drawings and rock carvings. Indians hunted this area for some 12,000 years before the Europeans arrived. Oakville Indian Mounds Park (hereinafter referred to as the Park) is an educational, archeological, genealogical and sociological legacy to Lawrence County and North Alabama. Spanning a timeline of human occupation of over 14,000 years and a diversity of races and cultures, the Park preserves, protects, and presents artifacts dating as far back as 10,000 B.C. and ancient geological evidence of the settlement and evolution of the people of this region of Alabama. Creek (Muskogee), Yuchi (Uchean), Shawnee (Algonquin), Chickasaw (Muskogee), and Cherokee (Iroquoian) Indians were the five historic tribes to live in the Oakville area.
Oakville Indian Mounds Park and Museum
The Celtics were the first white men to inhabit the area during the 1700’s. They traded with the Indians until the 1816 Turkey Town Treaty. Influenced by President Andrew Jackson, Chief Doublehead and other Indian leaders negotiated a series of treaties from 1794-1816 that ceded all Indian lands in Morgan, Lawrence, and Limestone Counties to the United States government. Riffed and decimated by war and internal strife the great Indian nations offered little resistance to the white settlers from Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia that followed the original Celtic occupation. Doublehead’s death on August 19, 1807, signaled the end of the Cherokees in North Alabama. Though the Cherokees would remain in the Tennessee Valley for another 30 years, they would never again be a powerful force.