Wisconsin Efifigy Mounds on the Lemonwier River

Wisconsin Efiigy Mounds on the Lemonwier River
Following up the valley of the Lemonwier river, a branch of the Wisconsin from the west, the first group of works observed was near One Mile creek (section twenty, township fifteen, range four, delineated on . 


There are six embankments of different lengths, three bird-shaped mounds with large bodies, and two small oval tumuli, all arranged on or between two sandy ridges that very much resemble ancient lake beaches. The works are arranged in a direction parallel to these two ridges; and the wings of two of the birds extend entirely across the low ground between them. On both sides of the ridges the ground descends into low marshy places of considerable extent.
The two oblong embankments situated upon the sand ridge might be supposed to be works of defence, or breastworks; but as they are of precisely the same character as the others whose position between the ridges precludes such an inference, we must, as in other cases, conclude that they were constructed for a different purpose. The ground is here occupied by the oak-openings, or a scattered growth of trees. The marshes on each side may formerly have been ponds, now filled by the accumulation for ages of vegetable matter.
At Mors creek (section seven, township fifteen, range four, east), there is a series of mounds, as delineated on Plate.


 They extend along the river at intervals for two miles. The group near the mill ( No. 1), is much injured by a removal of the earth to form the dam across the Lemonwier river. It consists, as will be seen, of bird-shaped and oblong earthworks. No. 2 of the same plate is an enlarged plan of the two most perfect of these images. Upon excavating one of them, the remains of a human skeleton were found, which had been deposited in the head of the figure. These mounds are here supposed to represent men. They are upon a gentle slope or nearly level space between the river and the foot of a ridge, or second bank, which is but slightly elevated above the water of the river. Several round tumuli are found on the ridge a few rods further west.
On No. 3, is represented a very long-armed figure, situated near Two Mile creek (about two miles above Moss’s Mill), where are others quite similar to those exhibited on the same No. 2. These long arms extend quite across from the abrupt bank of the river to some marshy grounds.
In the same neighborhood is said to be a small circular inclosure (southwest quarter of section twenty-one, township sixteen, range three), and also (on the northwest quarter of section twelve, township fifteen, range three) a series of garden-beds.
Leaving the main Lemonwier river, we passed between two isolated sandstone cliffs, known as the Little Bluffs (section twelve, township sixteen, range two, east), and observed two oblong embankments, or breastworks; but they did not appear to be arranged with any purpose of defending the narrow pass between the bluffs.
On section nine, township sixteen, range two, east, we found an oblong embankment.; and also one called a man, with the legs expanded, but having no contraction for the neck. ( No. 4.) Several earthworks (one of the man shape) are found on section five, township sixteen, range two, east; and a row of five oblong elevations, with but slight intervals, occupy a swell in the prairie on section four, township sixteen, range one, east.
Above these we discovered no more mounds on the Little Lemonwier. The country becomes more hilly; the valley is narrow, and the stream small; affording no suitable position for an aboriginal population.
Above the mouth of the Lemonwier, on the Wisconsin, I have no information of ancient works, except a few mounds at Du Bays, at Plover Portage, and an inclosure recently discovered and described to me by Mr. Erskine Stanbury. It is spoken of as “a fort” in township twenty-one, and range seven, east, on the line between sections nineteen and twenty, seven hundred and thirty chains from the south corner of those sections. It is on the bold bluff bank of what we call Iron creek. It consists of an oblong or parallelogram, its longer axis with the direction of the stream. The walls are about the usual height, with a regular ditch or fosse all round them; and in the ditch and fort, trees from six to ten inches in diameter are now growing. From each corner a straight mound is thrown up, running off to some distance, as in the figure. The ground was covered with snow, or we would have taken a survey and measurement.