New crosses for a local tradition

Easter Sunrise Services on The Flower Mound will be extra special this year. The Summit Club of Flower Mound in partnership with the Women of Flower Mound has hosted this event since 1974.

The Summit Club recently made new replica crosses. The previous crosses needed replacement and members wanted a more realistic experience for the sunrise service.

“While no one knows exactly, the crosses are as close as the research indicates,” said Summit Club President Claudio Forest who researched and drew the plans to construct the crosses.

The main cross is 14-feet tall, while the smaller crosses are 10-feet tall. They are made of milled red cedar, but are hand carved to replicate how the Roman Crosses were made. New sleeves to hold the crosses in the Mound have been installed as well. The new cross design is expected to last decades.

See a video of the cross construction here.

The first sunrise service on The Mound was held when Edward Marcus owned the site in the early 1970’s. Marcus told Bob Rheudasil, Flower Mound’s first mayor and an employee of Marcus, that The Mound would be a perfect setting for an Easter Sunrise Service.

Rheudasil and some Marcus ranch hands made crosses for the first sunrise service in 1971. The Summit Club and Women of Flower Mound have continued the tradition of Easter sunrise services since.

Services are performed by different local pastors each year. Rotating churches brings new people to The Mound every year and helps grow the event. Recent years have turned out up to 1,400 people. RockPointe Church is conducting the service this year.

This year’s service on Sunday, April 20, starts at 6:30 a.m. and it is suggested that worshipers arrive at 6:15 a.m. Many people bring lawn chairs. The Women of Flower Mound provide coffee and donuts. Parking is in the Tom Thumb parking lot on the west side The Mound.

About The Flower Mound

The Flower Mound was created some 66- to 144-million years ago during the Cretaceous Period. Once the oceans receded from this region, The Mound towered some fifty-feet above the adjoining Blackland Prairie.

Although undistinguishable today, The Mound sits on Long Prairie, which was a one-mile wide by four-mile long prairie amidst the Cross Timbers forest. Early travelers emerged from fighting their way through the thick brush of the Cross Timbers onto Long Prairie, with The Mound rising above. Many weary travelers rested at, camped on, and surveyed the landscape from The Mound.

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 Archeologists, but no Indian remains were found.

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 buried their dead in sacred ground, and often in high ground. The Mound could be a resting place for some Native Americans.

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. Historic records don’t substantiate these claims, but it stands to reason that it is possible. The Mound is about the windiest place in Flower Mound.

The very first recorded religious sermon in Denton County was on a Sunday morning in May of 1841, somewhere on Long Prairie. Most likely, it was on The Mound. John Denton, namesake to Denton County and the City of Denton, presided over a morning sermon to Texas Rangers that were in pursuit of hostile Indians who were raiding neighboring settlers.

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.

Bellamah deeded The Mound to the Flower Mound Foundation on July 25, 1983. The Foundation’s purpose is to keep the original character of the site and to promote educational, scientific and historical interests.

The Mound exists today as it did when the first pioneers first saw it. The Mound has never had a plow in it.  The same Bluestem, Indian Grass, Switch Grass and wildflowers grow there as they did hundreds of years ago, when buffalo and antelope grazed them. It is one of the last remaining pieces of unaltered Blackland Prairie.

Over 400 varieties of plants and flowers grow on The Mound. Alton Bowman is author of The Flower Mound, Flower Mound, Texas; A History and Field Guide to the Flowers and Grasses. The Flower Mound Foundation sells this book for $20 to help pay for maintenance of The Flower Mound.

Mark Glover lives in Flower Mound with his wife Penny Rheudasil Glover. Mark is the principal of iMark Realty Advisors and helps clients buy, sell, lease, develop and invest in commercial real estate. He is a Summit Club Member, Flower Mound Foundation Board Member and is involved in several local organizations. He also enjoys writing about local history. Glover may be contacted at: [email protected], or phone 214-550-5017.


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