Indian Mounds

Date in History: 1991

When white settlers first arrived in Wisconsin, the landscape was already dotted with some 20,000 Indian mounds. In Jefferson County alone there were at least 700 mounds, the majority encircling Lake Koshkonong.

Now Indian mounds were not uncommon, but effigy mounds – or mounds in the shape of an animal – are unique to the Wisconsin area. Most experts agree that effigy mounds were built about one thousand years ago, but why they were built is still unclear. Since it was the only way in which Native people changed the shape of the earth, we can assume that they had some important purpose.

In 1991, to make certain that future generations would get to marvel at these fast disappearing landmarks, Mr. Hugh Highsmith purchased a parcel of land near Lake Koshkonong that contained 11 effigy mounds and gave it to the county for use as a park.

This historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 03/17/2003.

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