Mississippi - Homochitto NF
Freewoods Area Survey
Homochitto River near Highway 33
October 15-19, 2019 (including weekends)
Volunteers must commit to entire session
Please join us on the Homochitto National Forest for the surveying of an area near the historic community of Freewoods! According to historic maps and other documentation, Freewoods was a diverse early 19th-century community in which Native Americans, African-Americans, and Whites intermarried, and lived together in peace. Slavery was not allowed in Freewoods, and there are documented accounts of the people of Freewoods fighting off the Ku Klux Klan. The community of Freewoods was similar to the “Free State of Jones” community in Jones County. The survey area is also adjacent to the Homochitto River and Zeigler Creek, which are both major sources of water in the region, and there are documented prehistoric sites in the area that include mounds and fish weirs.
This season, we will be surveying and using shovel-testing and screens to try to locate new sites in this high probability area. Specifically, we'll be looking for traces of early 1800s homesteads and prehistoric occupation. One goal of our work on this survey will be to gather as much information on the Freewoods area to ensure this unique chapter in the history of Franklin County is not forgotten. We'll be working on a wooded area of Forest Service land, east of Highway 33 near the Homochitto River, and we'll be walking through the thick woods, not on permanent trails. Supplies and equipment will have to be packed in, but it will all be worth it! There will be one day scheduled for a guest speaker (retired archaeologist) and field trips to local archaeological sites (weather permitting). We hope to see you this fall for a unique, Homochitto National Forest PIT opportunity!
Number of openings: 5
Special skills: Volunteers must be physically capable of hiking several miles over rough terrain, often thick woodland, and in fluctuating temperatures each day; previous archaeological survey, artifact identification, mapping, and shovel testing experience helpful, but not required
Minimum age: 18 years old
Facilities: Developed RV and tent camping available at no charge Clear Springs Recreational Area; RV hook-ups, water, bath house; Brookhaven, Natchez, and McComb are full-service communities with hotels/motels, restaurants, and a full range of other amenities; volunteers responsible for own lodging/personal camping equipment, food, water during work hours, and daily transportation to and from designated meeting area (if opting not to camp at Clear Springs RA)
Nearest towns: Centreville; 22 miles; Meadville; 26 miles; Natchez; 28 miles
Applications due: August 5, 2019