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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)
 

Lizard Effigy Mound

500-1000 A.D.

 
 
Lizard Effigy Mound Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, July 16, 2010
1. Lizard Effigy Mound Marker
Inscription. These mounds were constructed by a people of a hunting and gathering culture who met periodically at ceremonial grounds like this one to bury their dead.
 
Erected 1990 by Madison Landmarks Commission. (Marker Number 93.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Wisconsin, Madison Landmarks Commission marker series.
 
Location. 43° 5.402′ N, 89° 20.713′ W. Marker is in Madison, Wisconsin, in Dane County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Lakeland Avenue and Hudson Avenue, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. The marker is in Hudson Park. Marker is in this post office area: Madison WI 53704, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lt. Gerald Stull USAF (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Herman J. Loftsgordon House (about 800 feet away); Corry Carriage House (approx. 0.2 miles away); "Elmside" (approx. 0.2 miles away); Riley House (approx. mile away); "Let The Great Spirits Soar" (approx. mile away); Bear and Lynx Effigy Mounds (approx. mile away); St. Bernard's Catholic Church (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Madison.
 
Regarding Lizard Effigy Mound.
Lizard Effigy Mound Marker image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, July 16, 2010
2. Lizard Effigy Mound Marker
The marker is nearly hidden in the prairie grasses under the tree.
According to the Madison Landmarks Commission, "Overlooking Lake Monona is a long tailed effigy mound [dating from 700-1200 A.D.] that has been referred to as a turtle, lizard, panther and water spirit. Part of the tail was cut off when Lakeland Avenue was constructed. This mound was originally part of a dense and extensive cluster of mounds that extended from the Yahara River to what is now Olbrich Park. The site was still a favored Ho-Chunk campground as late as the late 19th century.

"Wisconsin has the highest concentration of effigy mounds in the United States and the Madison area has one of the highest concentration of effigy mounds remaining. Most mounds were lost to 19th century agricultural practices and city development. The mound builders were farmers who also engaged in hunting and gathering. They lived in small villages and migrated from one to another based on the seasonal availability of natural resources. The mounds often, but not always, have burials associated with them, but their exact purpose is not entirely understood. Mounds tend to have been built in places with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. The mounds are considered sacred by modern Native Americans and should be treated with respect."

According to a 1996 survey by Robert A. Birmingham and Katherine H. Rankin entitled Native American Mounds in Madison and Dane County,
The Marker is in Hudson Park image. Click for full size.
By William J. Toman, July 16, 2010
3. The Marker is in Hudson Park
"At the intersection of Lakeland and Hudson Avenues is a long-tailed animal effigy variously referred to as a turtle, a lizard and a panther. Part of the tail was cut off when Lakeland Avenue was constructed.

"This mound was originally part of a large group of mounds located a short distance west of the Elmside Mounds. This group included a goose mound with folded wings, at least one bird mound, animal effigies and other mounds. They were destroyed by residential development around the turn of the century."
 
Also see . . .
1. Madison is an Indian mound capital. Related marker with links to other markers for Madison Indian mounds. (Submitted on July 24, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.) 

2. Madison Landmarks Commission. The landmark nomination form for the mound (pdf). (Submitted on March 26, 2011, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.) 
 
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesNative AmericansNotable Places
 
Map of mounds near marker image. Click for full size.
By Native American Mounds in Madison and Dane County, July 24, 2010
4. Map of mounds near marker
Black shading represents existing mounds and grey shading shows lost mounds.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,121 times since then and 6 times this year. Last updated on , by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.   4. 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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