Fundraising efforts to save a Native American settlement dating back to the 1400s in what is now Nashville, Tennessee have proven successful.
Karl Dean, mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, has filed legislation to purchase what is known as “Kellytown,” a 6.72-acre tract located in Forest Hills, reports NolensvilleHomePage.com.
“Not many people know that this corner of a very busy intersection was busy for a much different reason some 600 years ago,” Dean told NolensvilleHomePage.com.
According to the Friends of Kellytown website, conceptual plans for the space call for a public park with educational features and walking trails connected to existing and planned trails and greenways.
“This site is a historical treasure, and it’s important that we save it. I am proud that we have a chance to turn this property into a park,” Dean told NolensvilleHomePage.com. “I want to say a special word of thanks to former Forest Hills Mayor Bill Coke and the Friends of Kellytown for their partnership in protecting such historically significant land.”
If the legislation is approved on December 16, Metro-Nashville will buy the land for $740,000. More than half of that money will come from fundraising efforts spearheaded by Friends of Kellytown, a nonprofit wishing to preserve the site.
The site is one of the largest remaining Mississippian-era Native villages in the United States, with some 500 burials underneath.
There was once a time when the Tennessee Department of Transportation planned to build a road over it. Pat Cummins, of the Native History Association, remembers filing a lawsuit against the department in 1998 to stop that construction.
“It’s a wonderful day in the State of Tennessee for the Native American community,” he told NolensvilleHomePage.com. “This is a long time coming. Never could we imagine in 1998 that our efforts would culminate in what happened today.”
To see more coverage of how Kellytown was saved, visit BrentwoodHomePage.com.