Fifteen-hundred plus people gather on The Flower Mound (the Mound) for Easter Sunrise Services. This annual event started in 1971. Services are organized by the Summit Club, The Flower Mound Foundation, and Women of Flower Mound.
Yet, most residents know little about the history of the Mound. If you are asked by a new resident, relative, or visitor about the Mound, you should proudly share it’s history.
The Mound was formed 66 to 144 million years ago in the Cretaceous period, when Texas was under water. It is a 12.576 acre tract that rises to a peak elevation of 666, about fifty feet above the surrounding terrain.
Native prairie grasses cover the Mound including Bluestem, Indian Grass, and Switch Grass, as they have for thousands of years. Varying wildflowers bloom on the Mound year around. Between three and four hundred different plants and flowers grow on The Mound.
The Flower Mound is a rare treasure for our town and the region. It is one of the few examples remaining of a Native Blackland Prairie .
Myths abound about the Mound, including that it was built by an Ancient Culture or is an Indian Burial Mound. Edward Marcus had several locations on the Mound excavated by SMU Archeologist in the 1970’s, but no Indian remains were found. This was before the invention of ground radar and other technology that could identify buried remains.
Shards of pottery dated 700 AD were found at the base of the Mound by Sweetie Bowman in the 1970’s. Wichita Indians were the primary Native Americans in Flower Mound, but several other tribes lived in the area as well.
The Mound was sacred for the Wichita Indians and possibly other tribes. Wichita’s did bury their dead in sacred ground, and often in high ground. The Mound ‘could’ be a resting place for some Native Americans, but there is no evidence of it being an Indian Burial Ground.
Another myth is that everything built on the Mound mysteriously blows away. Early Flower Mound Presbyterians are rumored to have started building their first Church on the Mound. The structure allegedly blew away and the present location east of the Mound was then selected. Other stories tell of homes and structures being blown off the Mound.
Records don’t support the Presbyterian Church story. It does stand to reason that a poorly constructed structure, or a good structure in process, could blow off the Mound. The Mound is one of the windiest places in Flower Mound.
The Mound has had several owners, starting with John Wiswell in 1844. Subsequent owners were George Beavers, Ray Lester, Edward Marcus, Flower Mound New Town, and Bellamah Community Development.
Bob Rheudasil managed the Mound under Edward Marcus, Flower Mound New Town, and Bellamah. Bob planted many trees, Crepe Myrtles, and Bluebonnets at the base of the Mound. One Live Oak dug there had a 180” base and was moved to Burnett Park in Fort Worth, where it stands today.
The Flower Mound Foundation owns the Mound now. The Foundation’s Mission is to keep the original character of the site, promote and encourage educational, scientific, and historical interests, and to maintain and secure it.
The lone Live Oak currently at the Mound’s base on FM 3040 was planted by Bob. I visualize this tree when looking at the Flower Mound logo.
Many famous people visited the Mound when it was part of Black Mark Farms, managed by Bob Rheudasil and owned by Edward Marcus. In those days, the downtowns of Dallas and Fort Worth could be clearly seen from the Mound. TWU in Denton could be seen also when its tall dormitory structure was built.
Bob Rheudasil bailed the native grass on the Mound every August for many years. Ron Hilliard was the first Chairman of the Mound Foundation and continued the practice. The Foundation asked about bailing with the new larger round bales, instead of square bales. The bailing contractor abruptly refused saying if a round bale rolled off the Mound, it could end up somewhere in Grapevine!
The Mound will always be a special place for many. One spring evening in 1983, I parked on top of the Mound with Penny Rheudasil, like we had parked many evenings before. Somehow, I convinced her to marry me. Penny was the Flower of the Mound in those days, and still is in my heart.
Many things have changed with our town over the years. The Mound, however, remains essentially as it was thousands of years ago. There has never been a plow put in the Mound. There will never be a house, building, or parking lot placed on it. Leaders before us helped preserve the Mound for future generations. This list of leaders includes Otto Consolvo, Henry Benson, Alton Bowman, Ron Hilliard, Ron Neiman, Edward Marcus, Bob Rheudasil and several others.
The Flower Mound Foundation Members are the guardians of the Mound now. Foundation Members will safeguard the Mound in perpetuity, so future generations can enjoy this sacred ground too.
You know the history of the Mound now. The next time a newbie, relative, or visitor asks about the Mound, please share the story.