Look Dad, there's a bone

By Donna McCollum - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A State Archeological Landmark plaque will indicate where a treasure trove was unearthed. It was found in an unassuming pocket park, but once was a Spanish garbage pit off a military plaza. Morris Jackson, a Nacogdoches archeologist made the first discovery with his young sons. "One of the boys said, 'Dad, there's a bone sticking out of the side,' recalled Jackson.  "And I looked down near the bottom and we could see a white bone sticking out like a finger would be sticking out."

It pointed the way to six Spanish colonial hits. Hundreds of artifacts were found, including a Spanish lance, coins and European pottery. "This came from France. It's age is about 1780 which is the very genesis of Nacogdoches," explained Jackson as he flipped through one of several large volumes documenting the finds.

The state's regional archeologist is drawn to the Spanish European connection. There are only two major Texas cities still going after all that time. "And that's San Antonio and Nacogdoches," Jeff Durst, an archeologist with the Texas Historical Commission said. "The township grew all around the place where Spaniards lived."

This gives local archeologists something to talk about. Tom Middlebrook provided a mini lecture informing those who attended the plaque dedication. "This was Plaza Principal. The residential houses were along the west side of the square. If the brick streets ever came up, which I hope they don't, we will probably find all kinds of artifacts," Middlebrook said.

A dig is going on now a few doors down from the pocket park. More discoveries are gathered in zip lock bags. "We started finding bones, gun flints, musket balls, Indian trade beads," listed Jackson.

Reese Andrews is setting the example to property owners to permit major research on their property.   "Tom and Morris have indicated they want to dig in another building I own located next door to the pocket park. I don't want to impair their ability to do that in any way," Andrews expressed.

In return, Andrews names the historic site for his recently deceased father, a highly decorated war veteran and his mother.  Col. Robert Parker and Lt. Louise Andrews both served in the European theatre. "So this really tops it all off, I think," Mrs. Andrews said.

History leads to knowledge for some and special memories for others.

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