If you're looking for me, chances are I'm either at home feeding a dog, or working in the reading room of the John P. Holt Brentwood Library in Brentwood, Tennessee. I can walk there via the Brentwood trail system, a paved walkway that circles in loops for twenty-plus miles of paved peace.  

Do you believe that ideas have power beyond that which they embody? Some creativity gurus say that ideas roam like wild winged horses, looking for a green pasture to land in, which they find in the welcoming stretch of a visionary's open mind. I wonder if the ideas of the ancients sleeping in the grounds somehow called to the ideas swirling around this place twenty years ago, land here, this is good ground. Because while the Brentwood city planners did not know that the spot chosen for the library building had once been a thriving ancient city, they nonetheless made a plan to bring an enormous and beautiful collection of modern knowledge to the exact same place where the knowledge of an entire culture is entombed in a card catalogue of earth.  

The bones and artifacts dug from this spot near the Little Harpeth River belong to the Mississippian Culture, most dated circa 1300 and 1400's. The more I researched this culture, the more fascinating it became. I wanted to share what I learned in hopes that people casually coming to the library to enjoy a class or pick up a book might get an extra charge from the place from knowing just how special it is and has been for hundreds of years.

I really wanted to give a tour! A tour! I thought, a tour! Then I remembered that I'm shy, and sort of lazy, and probably don't have the gumption to memorize and recite 20 minutes worth of information. If only there was a way to give a tour without being there! 

Well guess what? There is! And anyone can do it! You can do it too if you want! Yay technology!

With the help of the international audio tour app, VoiceMap I have created an audio walking tour, the first of its kind in Tennessee actually (gloating intended!) so I could share the mysteries with you.  

"Sprits of the Ancient South" is one mile and 30 minutes of audio. You can enjoy it on the library grounds or you can download it and listen at your leisure from wherever you are in the world. Enjoy! 



by Matt Blois of the Brentwood Home Page