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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Middleton in Dane County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Pheasant Branch Encampment

 
 
Pheasant Branch Encampment Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, June 10, 2010
1. Pheasant Branch Encampment Marker
Inscription. On the night of July 20th, during the Black Hawk War of 1832, Sac Indian leader Black Hawk and his followers camped near this location. Desperate for food and frightened by the approaching military, the Indians fled northwest towards the Wisconsin River the next morning.
 
Erected 1998. (Marker Number 398.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Black Hawk War, and the Wisconsin Historical Society marker series.
 
Location. 43° 7.34′ N, 89° 29.465′ W. Marker is near Middleton, Wisconsin, in Dane County. Marker is on Pheasant Branch Road 0.4 miles north of Whittlesey Road, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Middleton WI 53562, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Stamm House (approx. 1.2 miles away); Mendota (approx. 1.4 miles away); Early Social Whirl (approx. 1.8 miles away); Thorstrand (approx. 2.2 miles away); The Lemcke Farm House (approx. 2.4 miles away); Hickory Hill House (approx. 2.6 miles away); Hocheera (approx. 2.8 miles away); Blackhawk Country Club Mound Group (approx. 3.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Middleton.
 
Categories. MilitaryNative AmericansWars, US Indian
 
Pheasant Branch Encampment Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, June 10, 2010
2. Pheasant Branch Encampment Marker
Sign for park in which marker is located.
Pheasant Branch Encampment Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, June 10, 2010
3. Pheasant Branch Encampment Marker
View of the park location of the marker.
Pheasant Branch Park Description image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, June 10, 2010
4. Pheasant Branch Park Description
This sign next to the marker, "What's Going On Here?," describes efforts to restore the park:

Volunteers initiated the prairie/savanna restoration program in this 160 acre Dane County Conservancy Area by removing invasive trees and shrubs, by collecting and scattering wildflower seeds, by establishing trails, and by protecting the last remnants of the fragile dry prairie on the west side of the hill facing the parking lot. Meanwhile the agricultural cropping prepares the area for seeding wildflowers and provides revenue for natural area restoration project.

Before settlement, annual fires started by Native Americans maintained an open park-like landscape with open grown oaks scattered among native grasses and wildflowers, but after decades of settlement, few survive. Volunteers are recreating the environment where the original wildflowers and oaks can again thrive.

The thin hillside soil barely covers the bedrock limestone and when our footsteps erode it, the flowers are gone forever. Volunteers are trying to protect the hillside put up trail signs, and built an observation platform on top of the hill using materials donated by a local business. It offers a beautiful view of the spring, marsh, and surrounding landscape.

Unfortunately, the ugly, eroded hillside trail seen from the parking lot formed in only a few years, killed dozens of flowers, and could continue to widen like a cancer in the prairie, unless we convince people to protect the fragile wildflowers that have survived decades of neglect.

Do not allow the last remnants of wildflowers to be loved to death by park visitors. Please use the designated trail.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 896 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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