The Surprise at Primm Historic Park: Burial Mounds

A favorite place my husband and I like to get out and exercise not far from our Nashville home is at River Park in Brentwood, Tennessee. An extensive path system connects it to other area parks. One of them is the Primm Historic Park off of Wilson Pike.

I’m rarely on the paths over there unless I’m on my bike. I usually stick to walks in Concord Park (aka River Park) and Crockett Park. (There’s over 10 miles of paths just between those two, which is usually sufficient for me.)

However, one warm and sunny Saturday morning in November I found myself on my bike trying to keep up with my runner husband. I say “trying” because my tailbone was protesting.

By the time I crested the hill near the restrooms by Primm Historic Park, my butt had had enough. It was begging for a break.

This is the outhouse that goes with the old schoolhouse at the park. You can spot the modern restrooms and path I’m referring to just behind it to the left.

So I obliged. Besides, I’d been wanting to check out the old school house again and take some photos. Which, with my husband otherwise occupied with his exercise, I could do in peace without him hurrying me up.


Back of the old schoolhouse, aka Boiling Spring Academy
Side view
My favorite shot, close up of the entrance.
The Surprising Discovery

It was shortly after I snapped photos of the school that I noticed something I never had before: signs on the grass in front of the hill across from the building.

The nosy rosy in me went to go investigate and that’s when I learned it was a burial mound.

Say what? Right there in my own backyard? It’d been there all along and I was just now discovering it?

But that wasn’t all. Turns out there are five mounds in the park!

Burial Mound #1 is the largest
A sign for Burial Mound #2, one of the smaller ones.
Respect, Please

According to the City of Brentwood’s Primm Park page:

The Indian mounds are part of the ceremonial mounds built by the Native American Mound Builders between 900 and 1450 AD. They built ceremonial buildings and homes on top of the mounds and used one as a burial mound. The mound clearly visible today was likely home to the tribal chief. The mounds have been studied and researched and some of the artifacts are now part of the Smithsonian Institution.

All the mounds have signs with a number and a request to “Please Keep Off.” Not sure if everyone heeds that. Then again I’m not sure how many visitors the mounds get. I was the only one in the park with them that morning.

A Hidden Gem

Here’s a little video I made with Ripl that has most of the photos above plus an extra one. Can you spot what didn’t heed the “Keep Off Please” warning?

(Hint: It’s a living thing, but not human or animal.)

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