Monday, November 15, 2010

The Mark Harris Smith Sr. Meteor Crater

I know this doesn't look like much. But it's one corner of the county park that sat across the street from the first house I lived in as a child. The name of the place is Orange Park. Full of live oaks and loblolly pines, it has a tennis/basketball court and that's about it. Once upon a time it had all sorts of infrastructure for outdoor activities, but the city of Brunswick pretty much took it apart after racial integration. The swimming pool is gone. The water fountains are gone. The shed that held croquet sets, tennis rackets, balls, etc. is long gone, along with the shed's contents. I suppose you could still shoot a few hoops there if you bring your own basketballs.

The Mark H. Smith Sr. Meteor Crater?

At any rate, this photo is, as I said, one small corner of the park. As you may be able to notice, the photo indicates a low area in the center of the picture surrounded by relatively high terrain all around. My dad was convinced that this was a meteor crater. No, it's not much when compared to a major meteor site, but he may have been right. The other possibility is that it's the remains of a sinkhole, but I've seen old sinkholes in the low country, and this doesn't resemble those. And most sinkholes are underlain by limestone and this is not. This is all sand and soil with the saltwater marsh being less than a quarter of a mile east.

Very rough outline. The central (black) line shows the low area. This fills up with water during heavy downpours. The red line indicates the raised area where debris would have piled up after the impact. Or so my dad theorized.

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