Department of Parks
Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site Commemorates the 1932 Excavation of the Mounds
WICKLIFFE, Ky. – Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site will commemorate 75 years of history with a special exhibit and presentation on Saturday, Oct. 6.
October marks the 75th year that the mounds were first excavated in 1932 by Paducah businessman, Colonel Fain W. King. He first named the site the “King Mounds” and opened the excavations up to the public and developed a tourist attraction known as the Ancient Buried City.
Who was Fain King and what were his motives? There are very few archaeological field notes of the excavations occurring in the 1930s, but what information exists will be presented at with a special guided tour of the mounds, the historic features and the life of Fain King.
The public is invited to this program and a special invitation is extended to anyone who personally knew Fain King and his wife Blanche or who worked at Ancient Buried City or Wickliffe Mounds in the past. We ask for these people to share their personal stories of the Kings or the Ancient Buried City or Wickliffe Mounds with us and we will record them as oral histories of this site. These 75 years of tourism history at Wickliffe Mounds are bound to have interesting stories to record for education and posterity.
There have also been improvements for current day visitors. The Welcome Center was recently renovated and several projects helped to improve the park, which was previously operated by Murray State University until it was taken over by the Department of Parks in 2004.
The park currently is showing an exciting new exhibit of a rare and unique artifact found at Wickliffe Mounds in 1994. A painted floor feature from the Mississippian period, called a Suncircle, is now on display for the public, thanks to the contributions of volunteers, Kathy Lyons and Wallace Swan of Murray, who will be recognized during the event.
Wickliffe Mounds is the archaeological site of a prehistoric Native American village of the Mississippian mound builders. Located on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi river, the village was occupied from about AD 1100 to 1350. The park also has picnic areas and a gift shop.
The park and museum will be open General admission fees are $5 for adults and $4 for children ages 6-12. For more information, contact Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site at 270-335-3681.
The park is located in the Wickliffe community about 30 miles west of Paducah, on highways 51-60-62 west, near the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.
The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 53 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Commerce Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. Each year, Kentucky parks draw 7 million visitors and contribute $317 million to the economy. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our Web site at http://www.parks.ky.gov