Small Towns: Man mound

GREENFIELD, Wis. - Just about 4 miles northeast of Baraboo is Man Mound Park.

It's a place that pushed it's way into history through the work of Native Americans who piled the earth into a shape only visible from above.

"Didn't have any way of getting that view so they had to use their minds eye to create that shape," volunteer caretaker Rob Nurre said.

Crafted about 1,000 years ago, the man mound stretches 214 feet tall by about 64 feet wide.

"They were places that the native peoples created as a monument to their honored dead to themselves," Nurre said.

At it's center is believed to be just one person of great importance who was buried here.

"The assumption is that these were high status individuals," Nurre said. "So they would be leaders, chiefs, clan leaders, tribal leaders, that's our best guess."

Effigy mounds as their known are becoming less and less common to find - 80 to 90 percent of an estimated 5,000 that once existed are believed to have been destroyed.

"The reality is humans used this land for roads for buildings for farming," Nurre said.

The man mound. merely because of it's shape, is one of the most unique  effigies that's still around.

"One of the rarest styles of mounds are human shaped mounds and this is the only one that has survived," Nurre said.

While other burial mounds can be found across the state of Wisconsin, discovering one that's preserved and open to the public and as large as this truly is something that makes this site one for the history books.

"It is a work of art," Nurre said. "It has been created as such. And like any work of art it's something that is created for future generations."

Print this article Back to Top