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Historic home should be moved, cemetery saved

March 21, 2012
Pine Island Eagle

To the editor:

Thank you for the interesting article in the March 14 issue of the Pine Island Eagle entitled "Historic Pineland home up for sale again" regarding the 1910 Adams House at Pineland.

It would be my dearest wish for the home to be purchased by a responsible person or a preservation organization at a fair price for the purpose of moving the home, so that the mound itself can be consecrated as a cemetery, which is what the Adams Mound is.

The Adams Mound is a sand and shell burial mound dating to the Calusa period. It coincides with the Calusa Canal, which connected Pine Island Sound to Matlacha Pass from about 900 AD through the 1700s. The canal bed still traverses this property and its side channels to the mound are still visible. The Adams Mound, the channels and a lake on the east side are described by Frank Hamilton Cushing of the Smithsonian Institute who visited the Pineland site in 1895. Here is what Cushing wrote in 1895:

"Beyond (the first burial mound visible from the trail at the Randell Research Center), apparently much further away, but really only a scant half of a mile to the southeastwardly, stood another and even higher mound with a double summit, the space between saddle-like in shape, it was considerable over three hundred feet in length, and at least sixty-two or sixty-three feet in height, as I afterward determined, by a hundred and sixty feet in breadth at its widest point. It, like the first mound, stood in the midst of an extensive now muck-filled and rankly overgrown lake, and this lake also like the lake of the first joined the canal I have spoken of by means of lesser canals running at right angles to the main one." (Kolianos & Weisman, 2005)

Near the top of the Adams Mound he found human burials. The Spanish wrote that the Calusa visited the graves of their ancestors and learned of things happening far away and events in the future. Whether or not we see our dearly departed the same way, the sale of this property is an opportunity for all modern people to learn that this is a cemetery. The respect for the dead cuts across all time periods and cultures.

I do not mean any disrespect for the Adams of 1910, who unknowingly built their home on a burial mound. I also believe that the Smiths, who are caught in the middle, should be fairly compensated for their property. It's just that a habitation upon a burial mound feels to me like a desecration. If I had the money I would buy it today, move the beautiful historic home to a more suitable location, and set aside the cemetery mound for preservation.

With all due respect

Anna Stober

 
 

 

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