Citico (Chattanooga, Tennessee)

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Citico Town and Mound was a major center[1] of the Coosa confederacy,[2] at the mouth of Citico Creek in the area of what is now Chattanooga, Tennessee. It was second in size to Etowah at the time of Hernando de Soto's march through the area in 1540 CE. In archaeological terms it is considered as part of the 'Dallas phase' of Mississippian/Muscogee culture, c. 1300–1600 CE. For the muskogean version and origin of the name, see "Satapo." Isaac H. Bonsall photographed the site during the American Civil War era in 1864 when it was part of a garden for convalescent Union soldiers.[3]

Citico mound was the center of Citico town, and survived essentially intact up to the US Civil War when it was dug into and used to store gunpowder.[4] It was partially excavated by Clarence Bloomfield Moore in 1914[5] and subsequently destroyed[6][better source needed] in 1915 to create a road extending east upriver from downtown Chattanooga. The Tennessee Division of Archaeology designates the site as "40HA65".

The site is scheduled for destruction in 2016–17[needs update] as part of the City of Chattanooga-Hamilton County[7] Cannon brownfield development,[8] Central Avenue extension through Lincoln Park[9] and north across Citico Creek[10] to Riverside Drive,[11] and private college-student housing development.[12][13]


  1. ^ Note: "Although regarded as one of the most preeminent Mississippian sites in this region, this highly-visible mound and accompanying village was systematically demolished in this century as part of highway construction projects." – R. Bruce Council, "The Citico Site, 40HA65, An Archaeological Survey of the Proposed Lower Amnicola Parallel Interceptor Sewer, Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Tennessee", Final Report prepared for Hensley-Schmidt, Inc. and the City of Chattanooga, Jeffrey L. Brown Institute of Archaeology, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga 1992
  2. ^ "The Archaeological Reality of de Soto's Coosa," David J. Hally, Marvin T. Smith, James B. Langford, Jr., David H. Thomas. In Archaeological and Historical Perspectives on the Spanish Borderlands East. pp 121–138: Smithsonian Institution Press 1990
  3. ^ "Indian Mound, near Chattanooga, Tennessee, sanitary garden for convalescents. :: United States Civil War".
  4. ^ "Citico Mound". Chattanooga InterTribal Association. Retrieved June 11, 2016. See photo.
  5. ^ Chattanooga Times, April 18, 1914, p6
  6. ^ Chattanooga Times, June 27, 1915, p11
  7. ^ "CHC Religional Planning Agency". Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission. City of Chattanooga & Hamilton County, Tennessee. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  8. ^ "Brownfield Cannon/Cumberland Site Revitalization". The Enterprise Center, Chattanooga TN. Archived from the original on June 10, 2016. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  9. ^ "As details emerge on a Central Avenue expansion, Lincoln Park residents say they aren't happy". Chattanooga Times – Free Press. March 15, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  10. ^ "Indian Spring at the foot of Missionary Ridge Still Feeds Citico Creek 7 April 2012". April 7, 2012. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  11. ^ "THIRD TO RIVERSIDE NEIGHBORHOOD PLAN VISUAL PREFERENCE SURVEY SUMMARY REPORT" (PDF). Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 6, 2016. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  12. ^ "Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Zoning Commission Report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 22, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2016. Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional PLANNING COMMISSION CASE REPORT: 2015-018 Date: 02-09-15 Rezone property from M-1 Manufacturing Zone to C-3 Central Business Zone Property Location: 1428 Riverside Drive, Property Owner: Westview Drive L.P. Applicant: Wes Bradley w/ University Housing Group, Project Description: The applicant is proposing to develop student housing at 1428 Riverside Drive. The applicant’s site plan shows 174 units, four 4-story buildings, one 3-story building, and 619 surface parking spaces.
  13. ^ "174-Unit Student Housing Planned for Large Vacant Property on Riverside Drive". February 3, 2015. Retrieved June 11, 2016.


  • Evans, E. Raymond & Smith, Gerald, Test Excavations at Citico (40HA65) Hamilton County, Tennessee 1988
  • Moore, Clarence B., The Tennessee, Green, and Lower Ohio River Expeditions of Clarence Bloomfield Moore. Richard Polhemus, ed., University of Alabama Press 2002
  • Hatch, James W., "The Citico Site (40HA65): A Synthesis", 'Tennessee Anthropologist', journal of the Tennessee Anthropological Association, 1:2 Fall 1976
  • Honerkamp, Nicholas, Beth Fowler, Tracy Little, Robby Mantooth, "An archaeological Survey of the Citico Site (40HA65), Chattanooga, Tennessee"; Research Contributions 2, Jeffrey L. Brown Institute of Archaeology, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, December 1989