NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The Caddo Mounds Historic Site is still recovering from drastic tornado damage. In the process, volunteers have had to cancel cleanup days due to unrelenting rains and thunderstorms. On Saturday, East Texans came out in full force to help restore the historic place.
“It was a little bit surreal to see the site with nothing left but the awning," said Darren Lathen, who traveled from Garland to join in the cleanup.
“My wife’s been very involved with the Caddo Mounds Historic Site," Lathen said. "She’s written some lesson plans for them and stuff like that when she was an educator.”
Lathen said his family has another special connection to the historic site.
“The year that our daughter started at SFA was the year they were building the grass house," Lathen said. "When our daughter was at freshman orientation, we came down and we were able to help out on the house.”
The Caddo Grass House was destroyed as the tornado plowed through the site and several museum artifacts were lost. As they continued to work, volunteers said they feel like they were repairing a piece of history.
“For those people who are direct descendants of the people who lived here to be able to come back and see this restored place – that’s something that’s really special and important to bring back,” said Kathryn Hunter, another volunteer.
It will take a long time to get the Caddo Mounds site back to its former state, but it’s a task several East Texans have gladly chosen to help complete.
“I think what’s inspiring about this is there are people that are willing to help, you know, to come out and help each other," Hunter said. "I think that’s a really good quality of East Texas.”