Become an ambassador of Boonville
Once a year, my family would gather in a shelter house at Harley Park to celebrate the Lang family reunion. I looked forward to this reunion because it gave me the opportunity to catch up with family I only saw once a year. It also gave me the chance to explore this mysterious park with my cousins.
The day was not complete until we explored Lookout Point, a point that overlooks the river and named for that reason. When looking out over the bluff, the view heralds a horizon of opportunity, determination and history.
Further at the top of the bluff was a hill, a hill that had been created on 'purpose.' This hill had meaning, and it was very old. It was a Native American Burial Mound. I did not think much about it because I had seen many of these sites through my childhood. My family had even found Indian arrows around our farm.
We see all these sites around us, but we tend to forget there was history and stories here well before the first European settlers. Why did we not learn more about this? It is like the long lost history of North America is waiting to bloom like the daffodils in the spring. But, unfortunately we are still in the midst of a winter, only seeing signs that spring is around the corner.
As my age increased, so did my understanding. While in college, I spent spring break learning a little bit about pre-European history from a family friend. We went from site to site doing interviews about each location. I learned there are many mounds in Cooper County. Many of these mounds, the same one I had seen and visited every year at Harley Park were constructed by the Mound Building Culture. They were not a primitive caveman people; they possessed the same means and knowledge similar to many of the great civilizations of this earth.
A couple years later I had the privilege of actually stepping foot on Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and ruins from the cradle of civilization. This was the history I had learned as a child. I loved every bit about this since I love world history.
But, later I thought, our story did not just begin 500 years ago with the first European settlers. It began long ago, including the land what is now Boonville.
Like the ruins in the Middle East, the mounds and ruins in our backyard are very old. They were here when Christ was nailed on the cross.
As immigrants, our story to America may have began 500 years ago. But, that is only the tip of the iceberg in the mysterious history of our area.