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Public offered closer look at historic Mississippian Culture site Saturday

Friday, May 11, 2012

EAST PRAIRIE -- The latest event at the Towosahgy State Historic Site near East Prairie offers Southeast Missouri residents a chance to learn about the region's true first farmers.

Set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, the Mississippian Culture Day will include activities and storytelling by a Native American actor and teacher. Sponsored by Missouri State Parks, the event is free and open to the public.

"It's a great connection for all of today's farmers. We think farming in the region has been only past 100 years doing crop, but 1,000 years ago it took off in the Mississippian villages," said Chris Crabtree, natural resource steward for Big Oak Tree State Park near East Prairie.

Prior to the Mississippian Culture, not one crop was grown in mass quantities, Crabtree said. However, the first farmers of Southeast Missouri -- and much of today's central and eastern United States -- were the agriculture producers of corn, beans and a few other crops.

"Towosahgy is a great site. Unfortunately, it doesn't always get a lot of visitor attention and we want to showcase it more. Since the flood, we're trying to do more with it," Crabtree said, adding the site still doesn't have the interpretive items it had before the floods and new items will be added in the future.

Crabtree said this will be the first Mississippian Culture Day offered at the historic site.

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