Tag Archives: Ais

The Great Spirit of Lena Tiger, St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

Lena Tiger, by James Hutchinson.
Lena Tiger, by James Hutchinson, 2009.

I grew up in Martin County in the 60s and 70s. Nature and “healthier” rivers were abundant and a part of everyday life. We did not comprehend that the rivers were already dying; we did know of a people whose culture had suffered greatly because our white ancestors had “pushed their way in.” In spite of this terrible history,  I was raised to know of the Native People who had lived along our waters’ shores and to respect their ways. We learned of the tribes that had lived here and others throughout our entire country. The Ais, the Seminole, the Miccosukee, the Lakota…

Map Native Tribes of North America-public.
Map Native Tribes of North America-public.

One of the most profound memories of my youth is local artist, James Hutchinson and his wife, Joan, who lived with the Seminole Indians at Brighton Reservation for six years, located on the north rim of Lake Okeechobee. I will share part of their story today.

James Hutchinson, Florida Artist Hall of Fame: (http://dos.myflorida.com/cultural/programs/florida-artists-hall-of-fame/james-f-hutchinson/)

James Hutchison’s website: (http://www.jameshutchinsonart.com/gallery/florida/)

To set the tone, I would like to begin with a reading from Black Elk, a Lakota, from out west:

“I am blind and do not see things of this world; but when the light comes from Above; it enlightens my heart and I can see, for the eye of my heart sees everything. The heart is a sanctuary at the center of which there is a little space, wherein the Great Spirit dwells and this is the eye. This the eye of the Great Spirit by which He sees all things and through which we see Him. If the heart is not pure, the Great Spirit cannot be seen, if you should die in this ignorance your soul cannot return immediately to the Great Spirit but it must be purified by wandering about in the world. In order to know the center heart where the Great Spirit dwells you must be pure and good, and live in the manner that the Great Spirit has taught us. The man who is thus pure contains the Universe in the pocket of his heart.”

It is our hearts that will bring back the river of grass….”Kahayatle”… “Love’s power” is transformative and changes broken people, and broken waters…

So to continue, artist, James Hutchinson, was long time friends of my parents; in 1962 he and his wife Joan received an Arthur Vining Davis Foundation grant, and moved to the Brighton Reservation to paint portraits of the Seminole elders. Many years later, Mr Hutchinson wrote me in a personal letter in 2009 after my husband commissioned him to paint “Lena Tiger”—the figure chosen by Hutchinson when I asked for a woman to go with my warrior prints.

Lena Tiger, by James Hutchinson.
Lena Tiger, by James Hutchinson.
Halpatter, "Alligator." James Hutchinson.
Halpatter, “Alligator.” James Hutchinson.
Holata Micco "Billy Bowlegs II." James Hutchinson.
Holata Micco “Billy Bowlegs II.” James Hutchinson.
Osceola, "Powell." James Hutchinson.
Osceola, “Powell.” James Hutchinson.
Coacoochee, "Wildcat." James Hutchinson.
Coacoochee, “Wildcat.” James Hutchinson.

The letter reads:

“When Joan and I moved to the Seminole Indian Reservation at Brighton, we found ourselves at a loss as to begin our work…there were many weeks where we were isolated from the tribe and we thought we had failed. Lena Tiger was wife of the last true medicine man, Waha-Tiger. She saw how lost we were and came to our rescue, taking us around to meet several families’ campsites scattered around the reservation. Our travels with her gave us a sense of place…Lena introduced us to Billie Bowlegs III who became our close friend and taught us a few words of Muscogee as well as stalking.

She was an endless source of Indian etiquette which was essential to outsiders like us….Lena was a person of the of the highest character, one who witnessed great change and challenges to her people and one who offered the welcomed hand of friendship.”

Without this “friendship, this “love,” Hutchinson would never have been able to document the Seminoles of that era and learn of their historical brothers and sisters first hand. The work that Hutchinson did at Brighton defined his career and helped others appreciate a culture their ancestors had destroyed. Healing begins…

The moral of the story?

We too must offer the hand of “friendship” to our “enemies.” This does not mean that we do not stand up for what we believe in, but it does mean that we open our hearts to those who “cannot see.” It is through being open that the power of the Great Spirit will bring back life, and light, to the Florida Everglades, Lake Okeechobee, and to the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon.

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*In their own Miccosukee language, the Tribe uses the word “Ka/ha/ya/tle” to refer to the shimmering waters…the Everglades.

The Nuns of the Indian River Lagoon

The nuns of Mount Elizabeth, St Joseph's College, 1964. (Photo Aurthur Ruhnke, Thurlow Historic Archives.)
The nuns of Mount Elizabeth, St Joseph’s College, 1964. (Photo Aurthur Ruhnke, Thurlow photo archives.)

In the 1960s and 70s, when I was a kid sitting in my parents’ car, watching the world go by,  I often saw a sight along Indian River Drive that even today, I can clearly bring into my mind’s eye: the nuns of the Indian River Lagoon.

It was a striking image for a child. The nuns in their black veils in the 90 degrees weather walking in unison under the royal palms, the sparkling river in the background…

St Joseph’s College was founded in 1890 and the branch that was located at today’s Indian Riverside Park, along the Indian River, opened in 1966.

The story of how the nuns got there is a rather ironic one, and today I will share this story.

First let’s set the stage…

The lands where the nuns lived was originally an ancient Indian burial mound, and in 1855 was included in the 100 acres of land purchased by wealthy gentleman, Henry William  Racey whose son Charles Henry Racey eventually built a beautiful home atop the 4000 year old Indian mound; the site became known as “Mount Elizabeth,” shown below.

The Racey home on Mount Elizabeth, ca. 1892. (Photo courtesy of Thurlow photo archives.)
The Racey home on Mount Elizabeth, ca. 1892. (Photo courtesy of Thurlow photo archives.)

Later, the property was purchased by Judge Edward Swann, and next in 1936, by Coca-Cola heiress  Anne Bates Leach and her husband Willaford. Their home was named “Tuckahoe,” or “welcome” in the ancient tongue of the once proud and strong  native peoples. The estate was spectacular, as seen below.

The Leach Estate, Tuckahoe, 1948. (Photo Aurthur Ruhnke, Thurlow photo archives)
The Leach Estate, Tuckahoe, 1948. (Photo Aurthur Ruhnke, Thurlow photo archives.)

During the 1940s, the Martin County Commission had “allowed” Francis Langford and her husband to dredge a marina and construct tourist cottages on their property immediately south of the Leach estate and “tourist camps” had sprung up along the Indian River shoreline from Jensen Beach to the northern boundary of Tuckahoe.

According to Sandra Henderson Thurlow’s book “Sewall’s Point, A History of a Peninsular Community on Florida’s Treasure Coast,”

“The Leaches felt that the value of their property was greatly diminished and they were infuriated when the county refused to lower their taxes. To “get even” they vowed to sell their property to an organization with a tax-exempt status…”

which they did….

The property was sold to the Catholic Church for $75,000 and in 1950 the estate became a novitiate for the Sisters of St Joseph. 🙂

Nuns in front of the former Leach mansion, Tuckahoe.
Nuns in front of the former Leach mansion, now with dormitories, Tuckahoe. (Photo Aurthur Ruhnke, Thurlow photo archives.)

As we know, the campus of St Joseph eventually became the Florida Institute of Technology, a school that has created many of our local ecologically minded business leaders. After hard financial times the institute closed in 1986, and sat deserted for many years.

Then, through the very hard of work of a “redeemed Martin County Commission,” the land blossomed into “Indian Riverside Park,” a gem of our Treasure Coast.

When one looks at the history of the property, it is hard not feel like somehow, we’ve been blessed.

Tuckahoe today is a popular site for weddings and meetings. (Photo Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, 2014.)
Tuckahoe today is a popular site for weddings and meetings. (All photo by Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, 2014.)
Oyster and clam shells thousands of years old form the mound, the "mount" of Tuckahoe.
Oyster and clam shells thousands of years old form the mound, the “mount” of Tuckahoe.
View along the boardwalk of Tuckahoe.
View along the boardwalk of Tuckahoe.
Historic marker for Mount Elizabeth.
Historic marker for Mount Elizabeth, telling the story of the Ais Indians,   Riverside Park.

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Tuckahoe, Martin County Commission: (http://www.martin.fl.us/portal/page?_pageid=354,4190284&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

Florida Institute or Technology and St Josephs College link/Wikipedia:  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida_Institute_of_Technology_(Jensen_Beach_Campus))

Fresh Water Pollution, a Destructive Force in the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

Fresh water releases from local canals C-23, C-24 C-44 and polluted fresh water from Lake Okeechobee cover near shore reefs off of Stuart and Jupiter Island, 2013. (Photo Ed Lippisch)
Fresh water releases from basin runoff through local canals C-23, C-24, and C-44 as well as  polluted fresh water from releases from Lake Okeechobee through C-44, cover near shore reefs off of Stuart and Jupiter Island. (Photo MC archives,  2011.)

The concept that fresh water is a “pollutant” is sometimes confusing as we typically associate pollution with heavy metals, nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen from fertilizer, and muck accumulation, on the bottom of the river, from sediments running off of lands, through canals. Believe it or not, too much fresh water is just as polluting and has dire consequences for the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon.

This is historically ironic as well, as when the Ais Indians lived in this area,  the St Lucie River was a large fresh water “stream.” Throughout history, most of the time, the “St Lucie,” was not connected to the ocean. The natural inlet at what was later called “Gilbert’s Bar” by the Spanish was  sometimes open, sometimes not, but never for too long, and the inlet opening was much smaller and shallower than today’s St Lucie Inlet.

Yes, we are going back,  before we go forward, but history is important to know!

The “St Lucie Inlet” was permanently opened by hand using shovels, in 1892, by local pioneers who wanted access to the ocean for trade and communication. They had no idea that by doing this they would create “the most bio-diverse estuary in North America.”

As the salt water came in and mixed with the fresh water of the St Lucie and the “fresher than today’s water” of the Indian River Lagoon, one ecosystem, a freshwater ecosystem was destroyed by the salt, and another was born.

Over time, more fish and critters entered the St Lucie/ Southern Indian River Lagoon than at any other time in known history. The forks of the St Lucie, north and especially north, remained more “fresh” as the salt water usually did not go up that high into those areas. Perfect! Salt and fresh water fishing! It was a unique situation and as mentioned in the day before yesterday’s blog, presidents and other famous people swarmed to the St Lucie for its amazing fishing during this era, and all enjoyed.

Then things changed. In the late 1920s and early 30s, due to flooding  of agricultural lands and bad hurricanes killing people living and working in the southern area surrounding the lake, the Army Corp built the C-44 canal from Lake Okeechobee to the south fork of the St Lucie River.  Then in the 50s and 60s they built canals C-23 and C-24 as part of the Central and South Florida Flood System, another “flood protection project.”  Although all of these drainage programs helped agriculture, especially the sugar industry south of the lake, and citrus, in mostly St Lucie and parts of Okeechobee counties, as well as greedy developers, it did not help the St Lucie River. In fact, these drainage canals have been slowly killing the St Lucie and Indian River Lagoon ever since.

How?

Through many things, but believe it or not, mostly through fresh water.

Once the estuary (St Lucie/IRL) became brackish, a mixture of fresh and salt water, this delicate balance was important to the fish, mammals and others critters that made the river/lagoon their home in this new found paradise.

Briefly, I will summarize some of the killer effects of fresh water on its residents:

1. Fish: When there is too much fresh water the fish get lesions. This is from a fungus that only can live and operate in a fresh environment. The name of the fungus is Aphanomyces invadans and its spores get into fish skin when temperatures are low and water is fresh causing horrible lesions. More lesions have been reported over time in the St Lucie River that any other site in Florida according to the FDEP report at the end of this blog. The worst outbreak was in 1998 after the ACOE had been releasing fresh water from Lake Okeechobee in the winter months due to heavy rains. Thousands of fisherman were reporting fish with lesions; it is well accepted in the literature of our state agencies that this outbreak was connected to the gigantic releases of fresh water from Lake O.

Striped mullet with lesions. St Lucie River, 1998. (Photo, DEP State of Florida.)
Striped mullet with lesions. St Lucie River, 1998. (Photo, DEP State of Florida.)

2. Bottle nosed dolphins: Dr Gregory Bossert formerly, of Harbor Branch, has done extensive research into lobo-mycosis, an awful skin disease, in dolphins of the SLR/IRL. The highest number of dolphins with lobo in the entire 156 mile Indian River Lagoon system from Jupiter to New Smyrna Beach, are in the Stuart to Sebastian area. Dr Bossert’s 2009-20014 “Application for a Scientific Research Permit” to NOAA states on page 59:

“Water quality in the central and southern segments of the lagoon, is influenced by infusion of water from flood control drainage canals, e.g., in particular, run-off form agricultural watersheds and fresh water releases from Lake Okeechobee. (Sime, 2005.) Discharges from these sources introduce higher amounts of nutrients, metals, pesticides and suspended solids into the system (Woodward-Clyde, 1994). Analysis of spatial distribution of presumptive cases showed that the highs rates occurred in the IRL  segments 3 and 4 confirming our earlier observations.” (Mazzoil, 2003/Rief, 2006).”

(Sections 3 and 4 are the “south central” and “south” IRL/SLR-from-south of Sebastian Inlet, to Stuart’s St Lucie Inlet. IRL dolphins are “site specific” staying usually in a 30 mile range. The St Lucie River is considered part of the southern IRL.)

S. Indian River Lagoon Dolphin with lobo mycosis. (Photo Dr Gregory Bossert.)
S. Indian River Lagoon Dolphin with lobo mycosis. (Photo Dr Gregory Bossert.)

3. Seagrasses: Seagrasses are the basis of health for the entire SRL/IRL. Seagrasses that live in an “estuary” need sunlight and brackish (part salt/part fresh) water to survive. among other problems, the fresh water releases cause turbidity in the water so the grasses can’t get light and they die. Mark Perry of Florida Oceanographic states that during the Lake Okeechobee and canal releases from 2013, that lasted five months, up to 85 percent of the seagrasses died around the St Lucie Inlet. All nursery fishes are affected by this and of course it goes right up the food chain. Manatees, an endangered species, that live exclusively off of seagrasses, are very affected and reduced to eating drift algae that in some cases kills them. Dolphins are swimming around saying: “Where are the fish?!”

Unhealthy looking seagrasses coated in algae as seen 6-14 near Sewall's Point at low tide. (Aerial photo, Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch)
Unhealthy looking seagrasses coated in algae as seen 6-14 near St Lucie Inlet at low tide. (Aerial photo, Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch)

4. Near shore reefs: The reef system in our area is the northern most of a tropical reef system that goes all the way south to the Keys. It cannot survive with fresh water dumping sediment on its delicate system and altering the salinity of the St Lucie Inlet. Insaine. These reefs are supposedly “protected.”

Freshwater pollution and near shore reef, St Lucie Inlet. (Photo JTL, 2013)
Freshwater pollution and near shore reef, St Lucie Inlet. (MC archives, 2011.)

I could go on and on, but I will stop here. I’m sure you get the point. Salinity is a delicate and important part of a healthy estuary. Generally short lived fresh water releases during heavy rains by our local canals are bad enough, but long term dumping of Lake Okeechobee releases on top of that, is certain death. It must stop. Send the water south.

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FDEP, SLR Impairment/fish lesions: (http://www.dep.state.fl.us/southeast/ecosum/ecosums/SLE_Impairment_Narrative_ver_3.7.pdf )

WETLANDS Volume 25, SFWMD, Estuary in Distress: (SRL/IRL:http://www.evergladesplan.org/pm/recover/recover_docs/cems/cem_st_lucie_irl.pdf)

The History of the Name “St Lucie River” and Changes to its Watershed along the Indian River Lagoon

The St Lucie River was originally a large fresh water "stream" that ran into the Indian River Lagoon.An inlet was cut in 1892.
The St Lucie River basin/drainage map 2013, SFWMD.

For thousands of years, before the intervention of modern man, the Ais Indians walked the banks of a large fresh water “stream,” that flowed to the Indian River Lagoon. When the Seminoles came years later, they called it Halipatiokee, Alligator Water, as it was fresh and full of gators. The Spaniards came in the 1500s, on and off for centuries. They first called the river, Rio de Santa Cruz, river of the Holy Cross, as the river is cross-like. Later, they re-christened the river Rio De Luz , river of light, for the lighting on the water is heavenly. Eventually, the Spanish called the river, Santa Lucea. The English then taking over, “anglicized” the name Santa Lucea, to what we know today, as “St Lucie,” the church’s saint of the blind, and of “vision.”

1883 Geodetic Survey Indian River Florida, St Lucie River
1883 Geodetic Survey, Indian River Florida, St Lucie River.

Unfortunately, there was not much long-term vision when the watersheds around the St Lucie were altered by modern man. In 1892 area pioneers cut a permanent inlet from the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon to the Atlantic Ocean, killing the native fresh water grasses that supported an entire ecosystem. Nonetheless, they created something wonderful, the brackish estuary we all know today.  This area, over the years, before its recent destruction, became one of the most bio diverse estuaries in North America.

That wasn’t enough, the local people and the state, with the help of the federal government’s  Army Corp of Engineers, decided they wanted a connection to Lake Okeechobee for trade, travel, agriculture and the convenience of keeping the big lake of Okeechobee, “low.” So they built the C-44 canal connecting Lake Okeechobee to to the St Lucie “River.” In high water times, the overflow from the lake was directed into the St Lucie River as it is today.  Later, around the late 1950s the people decided they wanted more drained land for orange groves and development in the north, and less flooding, so they got the state and federal government to build the C-23, C-24 canals in Martin and St Lucie counties, draining some areas that had never flown south before. These canals even drained lands out west, in what is now Okeechobee County,  and in the north, known today as the City of Port St Lucie.

Did the people building these canals ever think about the effects on the Saint Lucie River?  This seems doubtful. And so today, we have a river system that takes on much more water than it was ever meant to  receive.

As Ernie Lyons, the former great environmentalist and editor of the Stuart News wrote in the 1960s about the loss of the headwaters of the South Fork of the St Lucie River during his lifetime:

“…The drainers got to work on the marshes. The cypress bordered ponds became white sand in the dry times. A ditch through them gushed silted floods during the heavy rains. The little straem was ruined. It  turned from paradise to paradise lost…”

Not until really the 1970s  did humankind start to reflect and realize that we literally were killling paradise, and we have been trying to revive the spirit of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon ever since.

With out a doubt, the spirit of the saint still lives in the St Lucie River; her ancient story is that she lost her eyes to give the people their own “to see .” When you drive over the bridge and look at her, the beautiful St Lucie, open your eyes and ask her to give us all, “better vision.”

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St Lucie River SFWMD: (https://my.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/common/pdf/stlucie.pdf)

Watershed maps/FDEP: (http://www.protectingourwater.org/watersheds/map/)

Story of St Lucy/Lucie: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Lucy)

The Spirit of Dugout Canoes and the Modern Paddleboard of the Indian River Lagoon

The dugout canoe is the precursor of today's paddle boards and was used by many Florida Native Tribes for transpiration along the Indian River Lagoon.
The hand made dugout canoe is the precursor of today’s paddle board and was used by many Florida Native American tribes for transportation along the Indian River Lagoon. (Painting, by Ted Morris, Ais Indian warrior hunting along lagoon. Courtesy of historian Sandra Thurlow.)
River Kidz member Mary paddle boards at Paddlefest 2013.
River Kidz member, Mary, paddle boards in the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon, at Paddlefest 2013.

I find the recent craze in paddle boarding fascinating and symbolic. The culmination of this craze locally occurred this past weekend with “Paddlefest 2014,” organized by Mike Flaugh and Cam Collins.  Hundreds of young people and adults were able able to get on the water, many for the very first time, to make a personal connection with the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon.

As we navigate our waters today, we must keep in mind the history of other Florida people’s who used  a similar, handmade, “standing,” basically flat board, hundreds of years  before us. Most notably, here in Stuart, the Ais Indians and later the Seminoles.

Florida Memory Project. Artist unlisted/subject Seminoles on dugout canoe,  near Lake Okeechobee.
“Florida Memory Project, “artist unlisted/subject, Seminoles on dugout canoe, near Lake Okeechobee.
Locations of the historic Native American Tribes in South Florida.
Locations of the historic Native American Tribes in South Florida. (Map, public.)

The Ais lived prior to the mid 1700s roughly from Stuart to Titusville, before their population was decimated by the Spanish; the Seminoles came to Florida from the Southeastern United States to avoid capture, and they too used dugout canoes, very similar to today’s paddle boards to move through the waterways and swamps.

Ebbs photograph of Seminole man in full regalia on dugout canoe, late 1800s early 1900s.
Ebbs photograph of Seminole man in full regalia on dugout canoe, late 1800s early 1900s.

I think the fighting and earth protecting spirit of the Indians is coming back with each person who takes up paddle boarding. In the 1600s, Jonathan Dickinson and others documented the Ais as the most warlike of all Florida tribes never succumbing to their captors, the remaining few left for Cuba. And the Seminoles? We know that story, they outsmarted the US Government, retreating to the interior of the Everglades, and never surrendered.

With a blessing and a plea for forgiveness, for our Native Peoples’ exterminated by prior generations before us, may their spirt protect and inspire us, in our modern fight against our US and State Government, and in many ways ourselves, to save the beautiful, the sacred, the Indian River Lagoon.

hundreds of children and adults paddle boarded thanks to Costal Padleboarding at PADDLEFEST 2014, many for the very first time.
Hundreds of children and adults paddle boarded thanks to Costal Padleboarding at PADDLEFEST 2014, many for the very first time!

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Ais Indians: (http://www.ancientnative.org/ais.php)

Ais Indians Genealogy/History : (http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/ais-tribe-of-florida.htm)

Seminole Tribe of Florida: (http://www.semtribe.com)

Coastal Paddleboarding, Stuart, Florida  (http://coastalpaddleboarding.com)

Unknown, Sacred Indian Mounds of the Indian River Lagoon

Ancient Aye Indian mound and gravesite, possibly 3000-4000 years old overlooks the Indian River Lagoon at Ft Pierce but is but is unrecognized. The park is known today as "Old Fort Park."
Ancient Ais Indian mound and gravesite, possibly 2000-4000 years old overlooks the Indian River Lagoon but is but is unrecognized. The park is known today as “Old Fort Park,” Ft Pierce. (Photo Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch)

When I was a teenager, one time my mother, a historian, pulled the car over on the side of the road near “Old Fort Park” in Ft. Pierce. She said,” Let’s get out of the car, we are going to look for Indian shards.” “Cool,” I thought, but how could that be? We were driving right along Indian River Drive in a residential area just outside of downtown Ft. Pierce. I’d been here a thousand times….

So anyway, she parked the car and we actually walked across the street, closer to the river, and right there lying on top of the pushed up earth, were discarded oyster and clam shells and splinters of pottery that my mother explained belonged to an ancient mound building culture.  I was amazed. Later, we walked up the remains of the forty foot midden, turned around  and looked out over the beautiful Indian River, through gigantic gnarled oak trees. I imagined I was an Ais Indian, looking out for the British or Spanish and their Indian collaborators  who one day would destroy me and the Indian River too. (http://indianrivermag.com/LIVE/index.php?module=pagemaster&PAGE_user_op=view_page&PAGE_id=136)

According to the Florida Anthropologist 2002, Volume 55 3-4, a total of 49 shell middens, circles or graves have been found in Martin County and were determined to be in much better condition than the ones  that had been plowed down in neighboring and over developed Palm Beach County. These Indian mounds were determined to be anywhere from 3000-4000 years old, possibly older, and belonged to various Florida mound building tribes. In Martin County they were named the Ays or Ais. (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027829/00090/1j)

The “Old Fort Park” is in St Lucie County, but Martin County’s most well known Indian midden is known today as “Tuckahoe.” The mound was once 60 feet high and overlooks the Indian River as well. I learned that  many of the Indian mounds, even parts of Tuckahoe, were all or partially bulldozed and the shells  used to pave the early streets of the area. (http://www.mansionattuckahoe.com/htm/mansionHistory.htm)

How resourceful? How horrendous and completely unthoughtful.

This partial map below shows where some of the major coastal and interior mounds in Martin County are located: Mount Elizabeth or Tuckahoe; Hutchinson Island; House of Refuge; Rocky Point; St Lucie Inlet; Joseph Reed Shell Ring; Peck ‘s Lake Complex; Banner Lake Complex; Hobe Sound Complex; Jupiter Sound Complex; Jupiter Inlet Complex; Indiantown and Barley Barber.

IMG_2830

 

A few years ago after a big storm, the Indian Mound on Hutchinson Island was opened up by the sea. Bones and artifacts were found, studied and reburied because today we have a deeper respect for these grave sites, these sites of culture that  many of our ancestors, like mine,  destroyed.

Perhaps the spirt of the Ais Indians broke forth that day, and in the rolling waves was brought back to the shoreline. Maybe they are somehow helping us who care and empathise save what’s left of their Eden – the beautiful,  the sacred, the Indian River Lagoon.

Photos: (https://www.google.com/search?q=indian+mounds+photos+florida&client=safari&rls=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=5LE5U-CeD63gsATZvYHADQ&ved=0CCgQsAQ&biw=1598&bih=803)