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Dubuque in Dubuque County, Iowa — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

The Native Americans at the Mines of Spain

 
 
The Native Americans at the Mines of Spain Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ruth VanSteenwyk, April 23, 2019
1. The Native Americans at the Mines of Spain Marker
Inscription.  

Mines of Spain Recreation Area

There is evidence of prehistoric Native American cultures, some dating back as many as 8,000 years. Mounds, village sites, rock shelters, trading post sites, and campsites dot the landscape of this region. The Mesquakie (Sac & Fox) were the earliest known historic inhabitants of the Mines of Spain. The "Red Earth" people are believed to have originated on the east coast and are Algonquian by language. They were later forced out of the Great Lakes region by the French and finally settled in this area. Their village was located at the mouth of Catfish Creek. From this site, the Mesquakie carried on a fur trade with French voyagers. They also worked the lead mines for may decades before the Revolutionary War.

10,000 BC - 8,000 BC
The Paleo-Indian Period. The first humans arrive in the Upper Mississippi Valley

8,000 BC - 500 BC
The Archaic Period. Hunters and gatherers

500 BC - 1,000 AD
The Woodland Period. Mound Builders and pottery makers

1,000 AD - 1,500 AD
Oneota Culture. Farming villages established along the
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Upper Mississippi Valley

1700's
The Sauk and Mesquakie arrive in the Dubuque area

1764
Beginning of Mesquakie lead mining and log furnace smelting at the Mines of Spain

1780's
Mesquakie "Kettle Chief" village established at or near the mouth of Catfish Creek

1788
Mesquakie give permission to Julien Dubuque to begin mining leadon the Mines of Spain

1830 - 1832
Maequakie abandon village on Catfish Creek, but return periodically to mine lead and hunt

1832 - 1833
Black Hawk War in progress

1833
Black Hawk Treaty opens Mines of Spain to "official" white settlement as the Mesquakie are forced out

1842
The Mesquakie and Sauk sell their Iowa land to the United States government and are re-settled in Kansas and Oklahoma

1856
Many of the Mesquakie return to Iowa and settle in Tama County where today they operate a successful casino

Fox called themselves the Mesquakie meaning "red earth" people. Early French explorers mistook a clan name (Wagosh meaning fox) for that of the entire tribe and began referring to them as the "Renard" (French for Fox), and the English and Americans continued to error in their own language.

Picture Caption

A 19th Century version of a Native American "wickiup".
Photo
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contributed by Center of Dubuque History, Loras College
 
Erected by Friends of the mines of Spain and City of Dubuque.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 42° 28.131′ N, 90° 38.84′ W. Marker is in Dubuque, Iowa, in Dubuque County. Marker is on Monument Drive. Marker is at the end of Monument Drive. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Dubuque IA 52003, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Julien Dubuque and the Mines of Spain (within shouting distance of this marker); Historic Dubuque (within shouting distance of this marker); Julien Dubuque (within shouting distance of this marker); The Canoe (approx. 0.2 miles away); East Dubuque Veterans' Memorial (approx. 1.6 miles away in Illinois); Eleazor and Diadamia Frentress (approx. 1.6 miles away in Illinois); Site of Tim Fanning's Log Tavern (approx. 2 miles away); Shot Tower (approx. 2.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dubuque.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 5, 2019. It was originally submitted on May 4, 2019, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 119 times since then and 50 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on May 4, 2019, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
 
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Nov. 30, 2020