Group hopes to make site declared a state park
BY ZACK SOUTHWELL • ZSOUTHWELL@MONROE.GANNETT.COM • DECEMBER 17, 2010
Watson Brake, an area of mounds south of Monroe, was discovered by local archaeologist Reca Jones more than 30 years ago. Since then, she has worked tirelessly to have the area declared a state park to preserve its treasures.
Similar to Poverty Point in West Carroll Parish and reported to be older than the pyramids in Egypt, the area is believed to contain a great wealth of knowledge about the earliest settlers of northeastern Louisiana.
At the monthly meeting of the Northeast Chapter of the Archaeology Society on Thursday, Jessica Crawford, Southeast regional director of the Archaeology Conservancy, spoke to the group about what she does.
“It’s hard work, getting a site named as a state park and preserved,” Crawford said.
The Gentry family, which has owned the land the brake is located on since the 1950s, has allowed Jones and other researchers on sections of the property that the state has been unable to purchase.
While the conservancy owns half the property, it has been unsuccessful in acquiring the rest of it.
“For preservation purposes, we would like to purchase the entire site,” Crawford said. “Ideally, we’d like to see it made into a state park.” (Continues)
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