Oakville is a small community located in Lawrence County, Alabama. The community, known
today for its two parks/museums,
has an action packed history.
Copena Indians lived in the area over 2,000 years ago. They were primarily farmers and hunter-gatherers, who engaged in ritual burials with the dead often encased in a putty mixture of clay, ash, and crushed shells. They left behind over 20 mounds believed to be used primarily for ceremonial events.
In the early 1800's, Cherokees of this area were under the leadership of Doublehead and Tahlonteskee. After Doublehead's assassination in 1807, Tahlonteskee notified President Jefferson that he and his people were ready to move west. In 1808, Tahlontewskee and 1,130 followers moved to present-day Dardanelle, Arkansas. That band became known as Cherokees West and later theOld Settlers. The Blue Water-Town Creek Village was the final Alabama home of both Cherokee leaders. Doublehead is supposedly buried in Butler Cemetery on Blue Water Creek in Lauderdale County.
The area also played a critical role in the final stages of the Creek Removal (Trail of Tears.) On December 19, 1835, some 511 Creek emigrants passed along the path through present-day Oakville Indian Mounds Park.
On 26 April, 1863, a Union raiding party led by Colonel Abel Streight, included the 51st and 73rd Indiana, 3rd Ohio, 18th Illinois, passed through the area enroute to cut Confederate General Braxton Bragg's railroad supply lines at Rome, Georgia. Union troops used an old dirt road that now leads through the Oakville Indian Mounds Park.
And on a more current note, a museum has been dedicated to the life of Jesse Owens, the great Olympic athlete, who was born in the community.