The entire debate between absolute historic preservation and increased historic knowledge hangs on one word contained in the deed for the Nikwasi Mound, that being the word “explore.”
Steven Rice, curator of the Macon County Historical Museum, says that the town’s current beautification plans are a direct violation of the property deed. “The deed is very explicit on what can and cannot be done,” Rice said. Town officials state that no definite plans have been made yet.
The deed, which was drawn up in 1946, clearly states that the Nikwasi Mound “shall be preserved for the citizens of Macon County and for posterity, and the same shall be kept as it now stands and shall not be excavated, explored, altered, or impaired in any way or used for any commercial purpose ...”