Troyville or Jonesville, The Sacred Gathering Place
I attended my first meeting of the Catahoula Parish Historical Society last Monday night. I am so excited to try to help in any way I can. When I was born, I lived in a house just off the former embankment, in the upper left-hand corner of this image, right off Division St., just near the levee and the river. When I was three or four years old, we lived for a while in a house on the block surrounded by Division St., Front St., Willow St., and the levee. Both houses have been torn down. Both remain solid in my childhood memory.
This little neighborhood has haunted my dreams my entire life. I have had recurring dreams of trying to rebuild the houses. The irony of this, with the reconstruction of the mounds going on, is not lost on me. As a child, I had very vivid dreams and visions of energies and animals, living on those spots. I credited all those childhood experiences to a vibrant imagination, but now I am not so sure….I do feel a very deep and personal connection to this spot. So I feel increasingly compelled to help with this project in any way I can. If for no reason at all, but out of respect for my family who once lived, worked, and contributed to the economy and livelihood of Jonesville (see Bill’s Cafe on this website).
The Catahoula Parish Historical Society has completed two mound scale replicas on Hwy. 84 in Jonesville, LA. They will soon begin sodding the mounds and turning the building that has housed Jonesville City Hall into a museum to display information from the ancient sacred place that originally stood here.
I can’t help but truly feel that in doing so, Jonesville will stimulate its own economy, and resurrect the energy of the Sacred Gathering Place. I have done my own research on the Spirituality of Native Americans (since I am a tribal member of the Muscogee Creek Nation). Sacred places and sacred gatherings were important to the Natives of America. They believed that people were part of the land itself and could not be thought of as seperate, in the spiritual sense. The indigenous people of Catahoula Parish would have wanted us to carry this forward, I believe, had any of them survived to tell about how a place, its people, and how they gather together, are so critically important. I have provided a link here to an article that discusses the notion of the sacred. Although this one discusses a mountainous area, the concepts can be applied to any sacred landscape–Notions of the Sacred.
I had the honor of meeting two men instrumental in bringing this reconstruction project about–Bill Atkins, a former member of both houses in the Louisiana State Legislature, and current Mayor Hiram Evans. These men have helped direct me to informative sites. The following two links provide very interesting information on these topics. The first is an approximately 9 minute YouTube video about Troyille–Troyville. The second is a link to a website developed by local Jonesville historian, Bill Atkins–Catahoula Parish History.