We happened upon Indian Mound Park by accident. We were out exploring on our way to "Old Englewood" when we spotted a small county park sign. Pillywiggins are curious by nature so we hung a left to follow the arrow.
The park sits on beautiful Lemon Bay. It has a nice boat launch, a canoe/kayak launch and a large parking lot for boat trailers. Visitors can enjoy fishing, a hiking trail or use the park's pavilion, restrooms, picnic tables & BBQ grills. What makes this park so unique? Indian Mound Park is also a historical archeological site.
Indian Mound Park, also known as Paulsen Point or the Paulsen Point Midden, was occupied by native people called The Manasota Culture from roughly 500 BCE to 900 AD. In the 1960's, before the park was created, an archeological excavation was undertaken by Ripley B. Bullen. It was determined that Paulsen Point was inhabited during four Florida cultural periods from 1,000 BC to 1,400 AD beginning with the Orange Period and the first appearance of ceramics and extending into the Safety Harbor Culture (900 AD to the 1700's).
No burial mounds were found at Paulsen Point although lower levels of the midden do contain human bone; remains of the earliest inhabitants. At least 13 burials were uncovered here but it's possible there were others. (There are reports this site was looted prior to the archeological excavation.) Paulsen Point Midden is the byproduct of longterm human use. It is not considered a ceremonial site.
The 1960's excavations revealed early inhabitants of Paulsen Point enjoyed a varied diet of seafood, shellfish and land mammals such as deer. This area also supports a wide variety of edible plants, berries & fruits.
It doesn't take long to explore Indian Mound Park but what we learned in that short amount of time was very interesting. It's worth checking out. We didn't find anything else like it during our stay but we later learned Paulsen Point is 1 of 8 archeological sites on Florida's public land. Indian Mound Park is located at 210 Winsor Avenue in Englewood. The park is open daily from 6 am until midnight.
Cherokee Street Park, part of Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves, is less than 1/2 mile away from Indian Mound. Yep, we turned off for another sign as we continued up Winsor Avenue toward Old Englewood. We spent a few minutes scanning Lemon Bay for manatee. We didn't spot any manatee but we were digging the informational signage posted in the parks. Another sign we were happy to see - Cherokee Street is a dog-friendly park! Good to know if you're traveling with pets.
We had wandered off course a bit but we were still only a few blocks away from our intended destination. Stay tuned! Our next blog post features local art, a one-of-a-kind statue garden & the funky salvage shop we found in Old Englewood.