ALTO, Texas (KTRE/KLTV) - Caddo Mounds State Historic Site will eventually undergo yet another major transformation when the site rebuilds following a direct hit from a tornado in April 2019. While those plans are drawn up, temporary buildings will greet guests who visit the historic site.
Anthony Souther, site manager for Caddo Mounds State Historic Site, said temporary buildings will be brought in to serve as the museum and visitor center which will be rebuilt in later months.
“We’re looking at setting up a temporary visitor’s center with a classroom environment part of it,” Souther explained. “There will be exhibits and things to see, but you will still get access to the grounds, and that’s the way we ran it when the museum that was destroyed was renovated.”
The site museum was closed in 2014 while the building was renovated, which basically left visitors with the grounds to see. The difference this time, Souther said, would be the temporary building that will serve as a museum of sorts where guests can visit, watch movies, or do programs.
As for future projects, Texas Historical Commission has set aside $2.5 million to help rebuild the Caddo Mounds site.
“We know that we’re going to get a museum, that’s been legislated, money has been set aside to rebuild the museum,” Souther noted. “What it’s going to look like, right now, that’s still a little bit in the future.”
Caddo Mounds officials will also raise funds on top of what was legislated in order to bring the site back to its former glory.
Temporary buildings should start arriving by October or November, Souther said.
Meanwhile, Caddo Mounds State Historic Site created an event on Facebook, asking for volunteers to take part in a Volunteer Day on Saturday, August 10, by aiding in the process of clearing debris from fields and working in Snake Woman’s Garden, which features herbs and vegetables grown historically by the Caddo.
Caddo Mounds officials have said they hope to be able to maintain the grounds while rebuilding gets underway.
The wish list is being drafted as Souther prepares an appearance before the Texas Historical Commission in October. He plans to ask for permission to begin a capital improvement campaign. Funds would enhance the state allotted money.
“I always wanted a dedicated classroom, program, activities center. A place large enough to do even Caddo dances,” shared Souther.
To compliment accessible trails would be a center with universal access for all visitors.
“Whether they’re in a wheelchair or learning disabled that we have something that we can engage them in a meaningful way,” is Souther’s plan.
Community safety is on the drawing board too. Supporters want a storm siren and a safe haven.
“A portion of the building at least would be built so that it’s hardened to withstand hopefully a tornado, like we had before. It would be a place where community people could come to if they had enough warning,” explained Souther.
An ambitious and serving list. Yet to be checked off is state permission for fundraising, design development and eventual construction.
If you’d like to volunteer, you’re asked to please call the site at (936) 858-3218 or 9936) 858-2359. For more information about the effort, you can visit the Caddo Mounds State Historic Site’s Facebook page.