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

Turtle Effigy

 
 
Turtle Effigy Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, June 24, 2010
1. Turtle Effigy Marker
Inscription. Rare two-tailed type of Indian turtle mound, length: 104 feet; built by the Winnebago probably about 500 years ago
 
Location. 43° 4.583′ N, 89° 24.627′ W. Marker is in Madison, Wisconsin, in Dane County. Marker is on Observatory Drive 0.2 miles west of Charter Street, on the left when traveling west. Click for map. The marker is west of the Washburn Observatory on the University of Wisconsin campus. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1401 Observatory Drive, Madison WI 53706, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Bird Effigy (a few steps from this marker); Chamberlin Rock (within shouting distance of this marker); Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Forging Agrarian Democracy (about 400 feet away); Mass Production of Penicillin (about 600 feet away); Genetically Superior Crops (about 700 feet away); Pioneering Bacterial Genetics (about 800 feet away); The Land Ethic (about 800 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Madison.
 
Regarding Turtle Effigy. According to a 1996 survey by Robert A. Birmingham and Katherine H. Rankin entitled Native American Mounds in Madison and Dane County, "Directly to the west of
Turtle Effigy and Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, June 24, 2010
2. Turtle Effigy and Marker
With King Hall in the background.
the University of Wisconsin observatory, near the crest of Observatory Hill, are a bird mound and a turtle effigy. The wings of the bird mound, originally spanning 133 feet, have both been truncated.

The turtle mound was unusual for its two tails (extending toward the lake) but one is barely discernable and the other is gone. The plaque for the turtle mound incorrectly states that the mound was built by the Winnebago about 500 years ago. We now know that the mounds are much older, although the Winnebago did use these mounds for their burials and religious ceremonies.

Two other mounds once belonged to this group: a linear and a panther. These mounds, which were north of the turtle mound, were destroyed by the University sometime after 1922. Just south of this group, where Agriculture Hall is now, was another group of several conicals destroyed in 1902 when Ag Hall was constructed."
 
Also see . . .  Madison is an Indian mound capital marker. (Submitted on July 22, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.)
 
Categories. Native AmericansNotable Places
 
Map of Turtle Effigy Marker Area image. Click for full size.
By Native American Mounds in Madison and Dane County, July 24, 2010
3. Map of Turtle Effigy Marker Area
Black shading indicates existing mounds and grey shading indicates lost parts of mounds.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,099 times since then and 15 times this year. Last updated on , by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.   3. submitted on , by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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