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

Prehistoric Indian Mound

 
 
Prehistoric Indian Mound Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Linda Hansen, 2009
1. Prehistoric Indian Mound Marker
Inscription.  This and the two adjacent mounds were built for burials probably by the prehistoric Woodland Indians. They perhaps, began entering Wisconsin about 2000 BC and lived here until modern times.

The Potawatomi who left Waukesha in 1886 were never mound-builders.

Waukesha County once had 411 mounds and the city 55 on 11 sites.

This mound was excavated in 1850. Beneath ground level were found decayed fragments of a human skeleton with head to the west, decorative pipes and pieces of shell and pottery.
 
Erected 1959 by Waukesha County Historical Society. (Marker Number 34-05.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Native Americans. A significant historical year for this entry is 2000.
 
Location. 43° 0.544′ N, 88° 14.005′ W. Marker is in Waukesha, Wisconsin, in Waukesha County. Marker can be reached from West Wisconsin Avenue near Maple Avenue. On the grounds of Cutler Park and the Waukesha Library near the Les Paul Bandshell. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 321 W Wisconsin Ave, Waukesha WI 53186, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are
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within walking distance of this marker. Waukesha City - Cutler Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Cohn's Shoe Store (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); American Legion Home (about 800 feet away); Rotunda (approx. 0.2 miles away); Waukesha Civic Theatre (WCT) (approx. ¼ mile away); Milwaukee and Madison Railway Depot (approx. ¼ mile away); The Waukesha Freeman (approx. ¼ mile away); Lindholm Vocational & Adult School (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Waukesha.
 
More about this marker. Historical marker is mounted on top of a metal marker put up by the Waukesha Women's Club on May 26, 1906.
 
Additional commentary.
1. Cutler Mounds
Sometimes well-meaning historians get their facts wrong. While the marker in Cutler Park correctly identifies a large American Indian mound for park visitors, some of the details of the 1959 historic marker at the site have been found to be inaccurate. The city had many American Indian mounds identified by early white settlers—well over 50 by some reports. This mound is actually part of a group called the "Church Street Mounds." Due to some misinterpretations of early accounts by Wisconsin's first great archeologist, Increase Lapham, of
New Prehistoric Indian Mound Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Linda Hansen, circa October 2014
2. New Prehistoric Indian Mound Marker
his 1850 excavations of two mounds in the group, this marker mistakenly attributes contents of this mound that were in fact found elsewhere. This mound eventually was explored by the Great Lakes Archaeological Research Center in 1985-86 at the request of the city as they developed plans for the park and expansion of the nearby city library. At that time, magnetic imaging and excavations did uncover the well from the relocated homestead of Morris Cutler, as well as artifacts and evidence of the native tribes which constructed the mounds.

Despite their best efforts, however, no link was able to be shown to a particular tribe, such as the Potawatomi. For example, no connection could be either proved or disproved between this mound and the reported burial on the Cutler homestead of Potawatomi Chief Leatherstrap (believed by one early historian to be the same leader known to local American Indians as "Wautsha" and from whom the city gets its name). Nonetheless, the value of the mound was sufficient to warrant its preservation by the city in its long-range care plan for the grounds, including the more recent addition of the Les Paul band shell pavilion on adjacent space in the park.
    — Submitted July 15, 2011, by Linda Hansen of Waukesha, Wisconsin.

2. Marker was removed.
New Prehistoric Indian Mound Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Linda Hansen, circa October 2014
3. New Prehistoric Indian Mound Marker
This is a replacement marker for the original. Wording has changed.
This marker was removed by the city due to grafitti. This is probably temporary.
    — Submitted July 9, 2020, by Linda Hansen of Waukesha, Wisconsin.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 9, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 17, 2011, by Linda Hansen of Waukesha, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 3,552 times since then and 187 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on June 17, 2011, by Linda Hansen of Waukesha, Wisconsin.   2, 3. submitted on January 28, 2015, by Linda Hansen of Waukesha, Wisconsin. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 21, 2024