Vol. 1, No. 2
'Randell Research Center
State Gives $300,000 for Site Interpretation
New Grant to Pay for Interpreted Walking Trails at Pineland
by Bill Marquardt
Florida Department of State, Division
of Historical Resources has granted
$300,000 to the Randell Research Center
for its next phase of site development. In-
hand grant funds are paying for a teaching
pavilion, public restrooms, and a parking
area, to be completed in 2003. The new
grant will pay for design and construction
of an educational walking trail that will
wind through the site. Included will be
pedestrian bridges, an observation tower,
and attractive, durable signs that will
inform visitors about southwest Florida's
archaeology, history, and environment.
The new grant will complete the current
phase of site development, furthering the RRC's
commitment to public education. Already a
destination for school children and guided
tours, the RRC will soon be a permanent
educational "park" open on a regular basis.
-_ ,F" -
New facilities will improve public access
and interpretation at Pineland (1992 photo
by Karen Walker).
Our experience has shown that local residents
as well as newcomers are fascinated by
Florida's history and environment and are
eager to learn about them. The RRC will offer
exciting programs for the visitor who stays
just a few days as well as meaningful
activities (such as environmental monitor-
ing and supervised archaeological excava-
tions) for longer-term visitors, part-year
residents, and full-time residents.
By walking through the Randell Research
Center at Pineland, visitors will not only
experience the 1,500-year history of the
ancient Calusa Indians, but also come to
understand the changes that have taken
place in the past 500 years as first one, then
another group of people has made southwest
Florida home. We hope that our visitors,
whether tourists or residents, will pause to
consider their own roles in Florida's future.
Only wise and informed human action will
ensure that the Florida of tomorrow is as
bountiful as that of today.
The Value of Endowment
by Stuart Brown
S 1 a funny thing. It is
often possible to find
funding for a specific
program like bringing
school children out
for a day or for
building a structure in which we can keep those
same children dry in a thunderstorm. Yet, rare is
the donor who gets excited about paying our
electric bill or springing for toner for the copier.
Let's face it, electricity and toner and many other
necessary but mundane things are very real needs
in any organization, but they lack the allure to
make them good targets for a donation.
Recently, the Maple Hill Foundation did a fine
thing. The Maple Hill folks offered us more than
money, they offered us an opportunity. Their gift
has provided the RRC with sufficient operating
funds to pay the light bill and buy toner for three
years. But they made the continuation of this gift
contingent upon our raising an endowment that
will allow us to buy our own electricity and toner
from now on.
No nonprofit organization can provide consis-
tent, quality programs without stable funding to
cover these humbler needs. If we place the RRC
in the position of having to beg year in and year out
for funds simply to operate, we surrender many
valuable hours hours better spent sharing the
process of scientific discovery with the public.
Over the year that I have served as Chair of
the RRC Advisory Board I've learned a great deal.
I've learned that there is tremendous enthusiasm
in this community for the work we do at the Randell
Center, that Archaeology fires the imaginations
of people from every walk of life, and that the
best way to get people to help is to ask.
So, in that sprit, I would like to ask for your help.
Please consider making a gift to the endowment
fund. No, it isn't the most glamorous way to help
but it is by far the most lasting way. Lasting, because
your endowment gift will be invested and produce
income forever. By making a gift to the endowment
fund now, you will help insure not only world class
archaeological research in Southwest Florida but
also the long term survival of the RRC itself.
Friends of the
Report of the Coordinator
*^- *< ^s c ^^et
by John Worth
Th summer rainy season has finally arrived at
Pineland, and while visitors are fewer than before,
the RRC is still bustling with activity. Since our March
newsletter, there has been a good amount of progress
at the Pineland site, including a remarkable trans-
formation of the summit of Randell Mound. Begin-
ning in April and finishing in May, RRC staff and
volunteers were able to complete and backfill salvage
excavations initiated in 2000 in some 29 footer
holes dug in 1995 for a proposed home site on the
mound. Under the guidance of Dr. Karen Walker,
Florida Museum of Natural History zooarchaeol-
ogist and chair of the RRC Advisory Board's com-
mittee on Research and Collections, excavation
units were cleaned and profiled, lined with plastic,
and then backfilled to level the mound surface,
making it safer for visitors and halting erosion.
RRC Board member Dick Workman then donated
and planted native groundcover that will
eventually eliminate the need for mowing.
In addition, volunteers Gary Edwards and Dick
Owens worked diligently this spring to refurbish
the RRC tractor and to clear vegetation from the
citrus ridge and adjacent historic shed structure.
While other volunteers worked on the RRC com-
parative skeletal collection (see p. 4), RRC business
manager Rona Stage worked with an experienced
volunteer office team to streamline day-to-day
affairs at our Pineland headquarters.
Regular weekend tours of the Pineland site are
now docent-led, and some 400 visitors toured
between March and June, including a number of
local school groups. Volunteer coordinator and
tour docent Lana Swearingen is working hard on
training materials for prospective docents, and
I would invite anyone interested to contact her
And as the on-site coordinator, I've been
keeping busy with everything from administration
John Worth demonstrates pottery-making
to youngsters on Useppa Island (photo by
to fieldwork, and I have also given a number of
public presentations to many groups ranging
from civic organizations to schoolchildren on
Useppa Island (above). The RRC is becoming
more and more visible on the Southwest Florida
landscape, and this will ultimately help us
achieve our educational goals. The upcoming
year will see even more improvements, and we
hope all our members will be able to come visit
and see our progress.
RRC Volunteers Visit the Florida New Friends
Museum of Natural History of the RRC as
by Lana Swearingen of June, 2002
group of RRC volunteers recently had the
opportunity to visit the Florida Museum of Natural
History in Gainesville, as the guests of Bill Marquardt,
Karen Walker, and Darcie MacMahon. The tour
began with a behind-the-scenes look at the new
Calusa exhibit, currently under construction.
Artists and designers were busy replicating the
world of the Calusa and their environment. Bill
explained how the exhibit expresses the link
between the past, the present, and the future.
Volunteers listen to Stacey Breheny explain
the techniques of mural painting. From
bottom left, Meghan McPhee, Diane Maher,
Barb Thomas, and Suzanne McPhee.
The group marveled at the time, effort, and
ingenuity that go into the creation of such life-
like exhibits. Darcie explained the process of
selecting just the right artifacts to convey the
many facets of the Calusa's complex culture.
The project has been many years in planning
and development, and the volunteers came away
with a much better understanding of how the
idea for an exhibit becomes a reality.
The tour continued with stops to observe the
museum staff and interns hard at work in the labs.
When Karen Walker opened the doors to their
comparative fish collection, we were overcome by
the vast storehouse of so many different specimens.
The last stop on the tour gave us our first
glimpse of some of the artifacts found by Frank
Hamilton Cushing at Key Marco. Everyone
agreed pictures just don't compare to seeing the
The entire group would like to express our
sincere thanks to Dr. Marquardt, Dr. Walker, and
Ms. MacMahon for taking the time out of their
busy schedules to share their world with us. We
will remember the experience as a journey into
the past that will continue to enrich our lives into
(Please let us know of any errors or
omissions. Tihai you for your support!)
Ginny & Bert Bertelsen
Robin &Jan Brown
Gretchen & John Coyle
George & Lee Edwards
Karl & Kathryn Schroeder
Norris H. Williams
Noel & Karen Andress
Gary & ane Burke
Ray & Ellen Garten
Jerry & Julie Hancock
Shirley & Wayne House
John A. & Martha L.
Carolyn M. Murphey
Dan & Linda O'Connell
Carol & Lee Wiltbank
Gene & Dorothy Worth
John G. Beriault
Betty Dunkel Camp
R. Christopher Goodwin
Barbara B. Mann
Patricia A. Mousley
Denege E. Patterson
Robert L. Pearl
Henry R. Sawyer
Tom &Ann Smoot
Mary C. Carlson
Original Location of Tampa?
Spanish map may show Calusa
name of Pineland site
by John Worth
Part of a renewed focus on Calusa
ethnohistory, I have recently begun reviewing '
Spanish archival materials from published
and unpublished sources in an effort to
assemble as much information as possible
about the social geography and history of the
Calusa Indians. In reviewing such documents,
a relatively well-known map of the Florida' N
missions, drawn in 1683 by governmental
notary Alonso Solana, has provided new clues.
about the Calusa heartland, and might possibly
show the original name for the Pineland site.
The map clearly shows the Caloosahatchee
River and the Peace and Myakka Rivers to the
north, as well as the westward thrust of Sanibel
Island (the map shows only the eastern edge of
the Gulf, without detailing all the islands
inshore). In addition, it shows only two Indian
towns: an unnamed "town of pagans" located
right where Mound Key should be, and the
"town of Tampa" situated where Pineland is '
located. Other historical information implies ,
that the Calusa capital at Mound Key and .
another town called Tampa were among the
largest and most important towns in the Calusa
heartland, and that evidence combined with this
Saving the Calusa Canal
by Bud House
map actually fits the
quite well. Mound
Key and Pineland are
the two largest shell
mound sites in this
region, and both
evidence for Spanish-
J J period Calusa occu-
'-' f pation. Furthermore,
-.. Sound was originally
known as the "Bahia
Sde Tampa" (Tampa
Bay, mistakenly "relocated" north to its present
location by the mid-18th century), it makes
sense that the town of Tampa is the largest
colonial-era site on those waters. And while
early maps show that nearby Useppa Island
was once called TCi.aip, 'or "Toampa,"
archaeological testing on that island indicates
it was abandoned by the Calusa after about
A.D. 1200. At present, then, our best
information makes Pineland the best
candidate for the Calusa town of Tampa
shown on the 1683 Solana map.
1683 map (left) byAlonso Solana showing
South Florida. (Original map in Madrid.)
Closeup of Solana (above) map showing
"Pueblo de Tampa" southeast of modern Boca
Grande (originally the "Barra de Asapo").
h1 ','isit in 1895,
Smithsonian anIhropologuiI Fra.n Cushing
described a remarkable Indian canal that was
30 feet wide and 5 to 6 feet deep. Originating at
Pineland, it traversed Pine Island, terminating
some 2-1/2 miles away in Matlacha Pass.
Archaeologists George Luer and Ryan Wheeler
investigated the remnants of the canal, conclud-
ing that careful planning went into its placement
and intensive effort went into its construction
and maintenance. As many as eight impound-
ments might have made up the canal. Sufficient
water in each impoundment allowed for
uninterrupted canal travel.
In July, 1995, George invited wheeler, Lee
County archaeologist Annette Snapp, and Calusa
Land Trust (CLT) directors Rick Moore and me to
visit a section of Pine Island that still
contained evidence of the canal.
Recent storms had flooded Harbor
Drive, and we soon found ourselves
walking through water from ankle to
knee deep. The path of the ancient
canal became clear as it traversed the
meadow to the east. We determined
that six unoccupied lots on Meadow
Lane were the logical parcels for
So far the CLT has purchased two parcels
and is working with the Archaeological
Conservancy to obtain a third. In the meantime
the CLT has been eliminating invasive exotic
plants from the three lots. Native pine trees, both
longleaf and slash, have started to grow. There are
at least three gopher tortoise burrows, with at least
Sign at the new Calusa Canal Preserve (photo by
one on each parcel. We will continue to seek
other locations with evidence of the old canal for
possible future purchases. The CLT invites any
interested parties to visit these sites and to
participate in the project. For more information,
contact Bud House in care of the Calusa Land
Trust at PO Box 216, Bokeelia, FL 33922.
Skeletons in Our Closet
by Karen Walker I
often an odiferous endeavor, but the RRC's
stalwart volunteers are up for the challenge.
Skeletons of modern-day Pine Island Sound
fishes are being cleaned and cataloged by the
RRC's Zooarchaeology Team. The skeletons
are the core of the Center's growing collection
of "comparative specimens" being housed at
the headquarters building. By compar-
ing modern bones to fish bones that
were discarded hundreds of years ago
by the Calusa Indians, zooarchaeol-
ogists can identify the ancient fishes.
Scientific inferences can then be made
about Calusa diet and fishing techni-
ques, and even environmental changes!
The RRC is indebted to the Florida
Wildlife Commission's Bill Curnow
(Punta Gorda), FWC/RRC volunteer
Bill Pretsch, and FLMNH's Scott
Mitchell for securing many fishes
for the collection;
also to John and
Len and Ruth Walker,
and Betty Anholt.
Zooarchaeology Team members
(above) show off their recently
prepared Crevalle Jack skeleton.
Left to right are Julie Hancock, Diane
Maher, Betty Anholt, Pat Blackwell,
and Debbie Cundall (photo by Karen
Barb Thomas, Debbie Cundall,
and Lana Swearingen (left) check
on progress of burrfish carcass
(photo by Diane Maher).
Send questions or comments to:
Randell Research Center
PO Box 608
Pineland FL 33945-0608
Telephone (941) 283-2062
OF NATURAL HISTORY
I11\ DIVERSITY OF
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PO Bo 0,Pnln t 33945.I
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,/ .\. RANDELL RESEARCH CENTER
----. --_ PO Box 608
_J PINELAND, FL 33945-0608
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