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Hickory Ground
Nearest city Wetumpka, Alabama
Area 33.1 acres (13.4 ha)
NRHP reference No. 80000685
Added to NRHP March 10, 1980

Hickory Ground, also known as Otciapofa (or Odshiapofa, Ocheopofau, and Ocheubofau) is an historic Upper Muscogee Creek tribal town and an archaeological site in Elmore County, Alabama near Wetumpka. It is known as Oce Vpofa in the Muscogee language; the name derives from oche-ub,"hickory" and po-fau, "among". It is best known for serving as the last capital of the National Council of the Creek Nation, prior to the tribe being moved to the Indian Territory in the 1830s. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 10, 1980.

Archaeological site

The 33-acre archaeological site, (1EE89), is outside Wetumpka on the lower Coosa River, north of where it joins the Tallapoosa River. It is a former village with a ceremonial ground, burial grounds, and refuse sites.

History

Hickory Ground, or Otciapofa, was established by Muscogee Creeks from Little Tulsa, located on the Coosa River. The site was documented during historic times by William Bartram in the 1770s and Benjamin Hawkins in 1799. The town was home to several thousand Muscogee and served as the last capital of the National Council of the Creek Nation from 1802 until 1814. During the Creek War, the inhabitants who were not fighting in the war were confined at nearby Fort Jackson. After the end of the war, they were allowed to resettle the site and remained there until 1832, when they were forcibly removed to the Indian Territory.

The site was rediscovered in 1968 by archaeologist David Chase of Auburn University. The rediscovery was not made public until much later, when plans to build apartments on the site were announced. Through the efforts of the Alabama Historical Commission and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, the site was acquired in early 1980 through matching funds of $165,000 from the United States Department of the Interior and tax break incentives for the previous owner. Excavations in 1988 and 1991 found evidence of occupation at the site during five distinct cultural periods, ranging from the Early Archaic (8000–6000 B.C.) to the historic Muscogee occupation.

The members of Otciapofa tribal town formed part of the Muscogee Creek Confederacy in Alabama, prior to their forced removal to Indian Territory during the 1830s. After resettling in Indian Territory, the members of Hickory Ground established another town of that name near Henryetta, Oklahoma. Chitto Harjo belonged to new Hickory Ground, where the Crazy Snake Uprising of 1901 was launched.

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