This is the beginning of a series on Indian mounds (also known as shell middens) located in the Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area. According to the Unit Management Plan submitted by the State of Florida's Department of Environmental Protection in 2003, there are 19 registered shell middens located within Tosohatchee. None of them have GPS coordinates, so the challenge is finding them based on what little information that's given.
I found one mound located on the edge of a cypress swamp about a mile southeast of Tosohatchee Creek in an area called Myrtle Point. The mound probably wasn't more than 2 feet tall and about 50 ft diameter. At the apex was an old hollowed oak tree and several cabbage palms.
One of the palms had the phrase "R.I.P. JB 6-13-08 2-18-91 BB 88 JD 91" carved in it. A search of the Social Security Death Index came up with the name John Beach from Broward County, Florida. Not sure what his relationship is with Tosohatchee. He could have been a member of the old Tosohatchee Hunt Club.
An article in the December 1985 issue of the Florida Anthropologist magazine called "A Partial Archaeological Survey of the William Beardall Tosohatchee Preserve" written by Marilyn Stewart details how she and and other members of the Central Florida Anthropological Society located some of the mounds in Tosohatchee back in 1981. Out of 16 mounds they found, nine of them (sites 1-5, 9, 13, 15 and 16) appeared to be archaeological sites, where as the others looked like natural features with no evidence of prehistoric occupation. All but one of the archaeological sites was in the Jim Creek and Bonnet Hole area. The other one was near Tosohatchee Creek and Myrtle Point. Interestingly the same article talks about them using an old USGS survey map showing 45 mounds that the Tosohatchee Hunt Club members had located. The map is supposedly in the preserve office.
Stewart used small aluminum tags (like the one shown below) to mark sites that she found. I was able to find some of them for the mounds down by Jim Creek. No tags were found for the one with the carvings.
Last updated on 9-Feb-2012