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Thursby Mound

The Thursby Mound (named for landowners in the 19th Century) has produced some of Volusia County's most interesting archaeological finds. Of these, several toylike pottery effigies of squash, gourds, acorns, and animals are remarkable.

The mound itself also is special; it is a truncated cone about 12 feet high and 90 feet in diameter, with a shell ramp leading up from the river.

Local tradition indicates that the Thursby Mound is the one located under the Thursby House at Blue Springs State Park. However, The location of the mound that was the source of all of the unique effigy figures is not this mound. Those figures come from another location, across the river from Hontoon Island State Park.*

*Source: Michael M. Brothers, Executive Director, Museum of Arts and Sciences

 

Gold and silver artifacts found here suggest that people traded with Florida's Calusa, whose homelands lay to the southwest.

In 1955, a dragline operator pulled a large carved owl from the St. Johns River near the Thursby Mound. The figure, made from a whole log by burning and scraping, probably stood upright in the ground. Since the owl was viewed by Florida natives as a symbol of ill luck, it may have been placed next to the mound to ward off unwanted visitors. The figure is currently housed at Fort Caroline National Park near Jacksonville.

Directions:
In Blue Spring State Park on the St. Johns River. From S.R. 17/92 in Orange City, turn onto West French Avenue and go about two miles to the Blue Spring State Park entrance. There is an admission fee.

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