Sunday, August 9, 2009
Weedon Island Preserve - St. Petersburg, Florida
Some of the most significant archaeological sites in the South as well as a stretch of the most beautiful waterfront scenery in Florida is now preserved at the massive Weedon Island Preserve in St. Petersburg.
Located in the heart of the metropolitan area, the beautiful park area and cultural center preserves over 3,000 acres of sensitive lands bordering Old Tampa Bay. It also protects the array of archaeological sites known as Weedon Island (also spelled Weeden Island), for which a Native American culture that once covered much of the Deep South was named.
While there is no evidence that the Weedon Island culture spread out from this site, it was archaeological work here decades ago that defined its pottery styles and other cultural aspects. A culture that grew during the Woodland time period, sites of the Weedon Island style have been found in Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Centered around mound complexes, the Weedon Island towns of the South were occupied from around A.D. 300 to A.D. 900 before they were replaced by the better known Mississippian culture.
In addition to its ancient archaeological sites, the Weedon Island Preserve was also the site of a Prohibition era "speakeasy," a 1929 airport and a pre-World War II movie studio. It now features walking trails, canoe and kayak launches, boardwalks, picnic areas and a Cultural and Natural History Center.
To learn more, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/weedonisland.