Council should donate property to Nansemonds

Published 11:47 pm Saturday, November 13, 2010

To the editor:

This is a plea to Suffolk City Council members to vote to donate at least 20 acres of usable land at Lone Star Lakes Park to the Nansemond Indians. Personally, I prefer the original request of about 90 acres, but I hope they will get more when they prove how much the resulting facility is enjoyed.

This gift to the Indians would require no money from the city. The land was given to Suffolk years ago by Lone Star Lakes Cement Co.


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The Nansemond’s plan for the tract is to build Mattanocktown, an Indian village featuring and teaching Indian culture and lore prior to the arrival of the English in 1607.

And what a perfect spot for teaching Nansemond traditions. The Lone Star Lakes park at Chuckatuck has been beautifully developed by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department to incorporate so many activities, each separated and hidden from the others so there is a feeling of being along in the woods.

Activities there include fishing and crabbing from piers or boats, archery, hiking, horseback riding, picnic tables, canoeing, a remote control airfield and a rental building for reunions. In addition, once a year, the Nansemond Indians host a powwow, which draws tribes and visitors from surrounding states.

The very thought of the Indian village takes me back to my childhood and Camp Fire Girls, whose programs are based on Indian lore. Our Cap Hantesa even had sleep-in teepees circling a grassy meadow. Lean-tos were scattered throughout the woods. The Boone River offered canoeing and camping. What I learned is still close my heart, and I am pleased to serve Constantia Chapter Daughters of the American Revolutino as Chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee.

Even the name — Lone Star Lakes — evokes a vision of Indian spirits. Can’t you see a howling wolf, nose pointed to that first evening star? What a jewel the Indian Mattanocktown would be in an already beautiful park.

Please give our children and citizens the chance to learn about the Indians who first roamed our city’s land. Give us a chance to enjoy the history of our very first settlers, the Nansemond Indians.

Dorothy Womack