Effigy Mounds on the Rock River Wisconsin
The next point visited was a high bank at the northeast angle of the lake (sections eleven and fourteen, township thirteen, range thirteen), and near the mouth of a small stream. At this place are several crosses, one structure of the bird form, and numerous ridges, but not arranged with any apparent order or system. In the same locality are numerous corn-hills and “caches” of the present tribes, who still make their annual visits to the spot. We saw a flattish boulder which had been used as a sort of anvil for pounding or pulverizing corn and perhaps other substances.
Near the source of a small branch of Rock river, called the Rubicon, is a fine little sheet of water called Pike lake. The banks are low, except on the east side; and on the north side there is a group of works as sketched on Plate XXXVI, presenting some characteristics not before observed. Here is another mound with a level area on the top, being the frustrum of a cone, similar to the temple mounds, supposed to be places of sacrifice. There are three others of the ordinary form, two of the imitative forms, and a semicircular ridge embracing a circular [page 55:] excavation at one extremity, and partially inclosing another. The figure at the east has but one projection or leg, and a forked tail; the other figure differs from most of the lizard-mounds in the fact that the body and tail are not in the same straight line.
The bank of the lake is more elevated at this point than on either side, where are some low grounds with springs and marshy places. A little east of this lake is a high peak or hill, which we ascended, but found no traces of ancient works on its summit.
But the most extended and varied groups of ancient works, and the most complicated and intricate, are at Horicon. represents the principal groups immediately below the town, but does not include all in this vicinity. They occupy the high bank of the river on both sides.
It will be seen that most of the forms heretofore described are represented at this place, and some are combined in a very curious manner. There are about two hundred ordinary round mounds in this neighborhood, and all, with two exceptions, quite small. The two large ones, on the west side of the river, have an elevation of twelve feet, and are sixty-five feet in diameter at the base. The others are from one to four or five feet high. In several of them we noticed very recent Indian graves, covered with slabs or stakes, in the usual method of modern Indian burial. They belong to the Potawattomies. One is protected by slabs driven in a sloping manner, so as to meet at the top like the roof of a house. Another has a kind of pen made of sticks about six inches in diameter. These graves show the peculiarity of having but one kind of wood on one grave; the slabs being made of oak, and the pen made of elm. The larger and more conspicuous mounds are generally selected by the Indians for the burial of their dead.