Grass House to be completed at Caddo Mounds Historic Site

After a tornado destroyed the grass house three years ago in Alto, it’s standing tall again and should see many of its finishing touches this weekend.
Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 5:51 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ALTO, Texas (KTRE) - After a tornado destroyed the grass house three years ago in Alto, it’s standing tall again and should see many of its finishing touches this weekend.

Three generations of the Caddo Tribe watched Friday along with Tribal Council Representative Kay O’Neal to see the project though to its end.

“It’s pretty phenomenal to watch it come up, as a tornado took it down the first time,” O’Neal said. “We didn’t stop there, but we repurposed in ourselves to rebuild this, and here it is coming into culmination.”

The project to rebuild the grass house started more than a year ago, and O’Neal said it’s important for traditions to stay intact during the project.

“I can’t even express how much it means to me that we’re here on our ancestral land and we’re doing things traditionally,” O’Neal said. “We’re not changing anything.”

To ensure those traditions, the grass house was made with materials like switch grass and pine poles, materials that would’ve been available to the Caddo Tribe years ago. It was harvested months in advance according to Site Manager Anthony Southers.

“There is months and months of planning,” Southers said. “We actually started planning this a year or more ago.”

O’Neal said keeping these traditions is important to show the newest Caddo generation.

“We’re passing this generational knowledge on,” he said.

While the grass house is open for the public to visit, it means so much more to the Caddo Tribe.

“It serves a greater purpose than just being a museum exhibit or for something for people to come see,” O’Neal said. “It’s a part of us. It’s a part of our heritage.”