OREGON – Hikers, canoeists, boaters and anglers at this river city's newest park might be sharing the space with the ancestral remains of the area's Native Americans.
Experts are in the process of determining if burial mounds are located at Jack’s Landing, a 10-acre parcel on the east side of the Rock River near Daysville that was donated to the Oregon Park District in November.
“They potentially have identified two burial mounds on this property,” park district Executive Director Erin Folk said. “That has not been verified.”
Craig and Bette Williams of Oregon bought the land to to build a home, but their plans changed, and they donated the land to the park district, Folk said. Named after their son, Jack, it was opened to the public on June 14.
"We are really happy that people will be able to enjoy this property, because it is a nice place," Craig Williams said.
The possible mounds were discovered in the winter, during an archaeological survey required by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. IDNR and Illinois Historical Preservation Agency experts are going over the survey results, Folk said.
Governmental agencies that have burial mounds must follow much tighter restrictions than private landowners. If the study shows the areas in question to be burial mounds, several steps must be followed to preserve and protect them, Folk said, adding that the area could become an educational site.
Park district officials plan to keep the 10 acres as natural as possible to preserve the native plants, trees, and wildlife in the area.
"There is river frontage for fishing, and we are waiting on permits from the state for a fishing pier," Folk said. "It has been an exciting experience developing the park. It is nothing like what we have. It is a bonus for our residents."