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Union University Dept of History

Department News

History Group Does Community Service Project at Pinson Mounds State Archaeological Park

Nov 5, 2008 - Twenty-one Union students, four history department faculty members, and a Union University photographer participated in a Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society-sponsored community service project at Pinson Mounds State Archaeological Park on November 5 as a part of Union University’s Day of Remembrance. The main task of the group was to help build simple bog bridges in preparation for the reopening of a park trail closed for several months because of flood damage. Mr. Gary Patterson, the administrator for the hiking trails in all Tennessee state parks, supervised the work with the assistance of Park Ranger Wesley Williams. Some Union participants later broke away from the main group to remove doors and windows from a building slated for dismantlement, and others removed tree branches and brush from a clearing in the park. Following a picnic-style lunch, Park Manager Timothy Poole presented a talk about the importance of the park’s land in the pre-history of Native Americans and gave an explanation about a number of artifacts he had on display. In addition, Park Ranger Williams did a presentation on atlatl spear-throwing, and let all group participants try their hand at it. The weather for the service project was sunny and warm, with the temperature reaching 78 degrees. The group arrived back on Union’s campus shortly after 2:00 p.m.

Participants in the community service project at the Pinson Mounds State Archaeological Park gather in front of the park museum shortly after their morning arrival. They are: (front row, left to right) Dr. Judy LeForge, Mary Alisa Techentin, Lauren Bogdan, Trista Rowland, Elizabeth Blevins, Dr. Stephen Carls, and Shinae Giffin; (second row, left to right) Kathleen Cooper, Julianne Little, Dr. David Thomas, Dr. Keith Bates, Caitlin Roach, Joshua Abbotoy, Caleb Dunlap, Amy Brown, and Noah Arnold; (back row, left to right) Nick Brown, Sarah Conway, Megan Winters, Stephen Thomas, Joshua Hays, David Conway, Chad Keathley, John Poole, and Travis Lutz.

David Conway (left front), Noah Arnold (right front), Amy Brown (left back), and Chad Keathley form a foursome to carry a heavy cedar plank to a drop-off point along the walking trail under construction at Pinson Mounds.

Joshua Hays (left front) and Dr. Keith Bates carry a cedar plank for placement in the construction of a simple bog bridge at Pinson Mounds.

Elizabeth Blevins (left to right), Lauren Bogdan, and Sarah Conway team together to transport a long cedar plank to a bog bridge construction area.

Dr. Judy LeForge (left front with back to the camera, and then moving clockwise), Caitlin Roach, Chad Keathley, Dr. Keith Bates, Amy Brown, Dr. Stephen Carls, and Trista Rowland (right front with back to camera) participate in a cedar plank transport system to facilitate the process of getting the planks to their proper location.

John Poole (right front) teams with Travis Lutz to move a cedar plank to a bog bridge building area.

Megan Winters (left front), Mary Alisa Techentin (right front), Kathleen Cooper (left back), and Julianne Little (right back) transport a cedar plank to a designated spot along the walking trail under construction.

Stephen Thomas hammers in a steel ground stake (rebar) to secure a bog bridge sleeper (an underside support beam on the ground) to the ground.

Trista Rowland and Dr. David Thomas put a steel ground stake (rebar) into a bog bridge sleeper.

Trista Rowland drills a hole in a bog bridge sleeper where a steel ground stake (rebar) will then be placed.

Joshua Abbotoy pounds a steel ground stake (rebar) through a bog bridge sleeper and into the ground.

Dr. David Thomas (left to right), Mary Alisa Techentin, Shinae Giffin, and Tennessee Trails Director Gary Patterson carry equipment back to an assembly area at the end of the bog bridge building project.

Dr. Keith Bates (left to right), Kathleen Cooper, Amy Brown, and Noah Arnold take a lunch break during the Phi Alpha Theta-sponsored community service project at Pinson Mounds.

Travis Lutz (left to right), Sarah Conway, and John Poole each choose a t-shirt from a box of t-shirts that Park Manager Timothy Poole provided for the community project participants to thank them for their work.

Park Ranger Wesley Williams talks about atlatl spear-throwing during an afternoon learning session. Seated in the bleachers are: (front row, left to right) Dr. Judy LeForge and Mary Alisa Techentin; (middle row, left to right) Kathleen Cooper, Lauren Bogdan, and Caitlin Roach; (back row, left to right) Chad Keathley, Caleb Dunlap, Joshua Abbotoy, Sarah Conway, and Nick Brown.

Nick Brown tries his hand at throwing a spear with an atlatl.

Park Manager Wesley Williams (right) shows Dr. Stephen Carls how to use an atlatl spear-throwing device during an afternoon demonstration.

Park Manager Timothy Poole holds up a bowl at the top of Sauls' Mound during an afternoon presentation about Native American artifacts.

Park Manager Timothy Poole (left front) reaches for a Native American tool during an afternoon presentation about Native American artifacts. Listening with great interest are (left, and moving clockwise) Dr. Judy LeForge, Caleb Dunlap, Chad Keathley, Julianne Little, Megan Winters, Lauren Bogdan, and Joshua Abbotoy (back to camera). Dr. Stephen Carls checks his camera behind the group.

Union University project participants descend Sauls' Mound at the end of a session with Park Manager Timothy Poole about Native American artifacts. Leading the group are Amy Brown and Noah Arnold.

Day of Remembrance participants head for the park museum at the end of their time at Pinson Mounds State Archaeological Park on November 5.