ANCIENT MOUND BUILDERS WORKS OF THE VALLEY OF ROCK RIVER, ABOVE THOSE AT AZTALAN.
In the valley of Rock river we find no traces of ancient works for some distance above Aztalan; the first being in the town of Ixonia (section nineteen, township eight, range sixteen). Here are seven or eight mounds along the right bank of the river, on an elevated position, as usual, commanding a fine view of the river above and below. There are said to be others in the vicinity.
One of them has been opened for the purpose of making a place in which to bury potatoes, to secure them from the frosts of winter. Numbers of human bones are said to have been thrown out from near the bottom, where the earth had been hardened by some artificial process. No implements or ornaments were noticed.
At Wolf Point (section twenty-seven, township ten, range sixteen), in the lower part of the town of Hustisford, we observed traces of a recently abandoned Indian village, but no ancient works. Here, it is said, a great Indian battle was fought, in times long gone by; and here Black Hawk made a stand against his white pursuers in 1832.
At Hustisford a stone was shown us, which, by the aid of a little imagination, may be supposed to represent the head of a bird; and which was held in great veneration by the Winnebago Indians, who have but very recently been removed from this part of the State. It is a boulder of gneissoid granite, of accidental form, caused by the unequal decay and disintegration of the different layers of which it is composed. (See Fig. 16.)
At this place (Hustisford), there are the remains of a number of lizard mounds by the mill race, and also on the point opposite, on the east side of the river. There is a mound only two feet high, but having a considerable level area on the top, near the mill, which is said to be the place where prisoners of war were tortured and sacrificed by the Indian inhabitants. An examination disclosed partially calcined stones, ashes, charcoal, &c., in the centre.
The river here has a rapid current, caused by a ledge of limestone of the same kind as that in the lead districts of the western part of the State; the whole fall being about seven feet.
The country around is made up of a series of ridges like those before referred to, with intervening valleys, having a general direction nearly north and south. They are usually from twenty to fifty feet, and occasionally even one hundred feet in height, and frequently several miles in length. One of these ridges of great height, on the east side of the river, seems to have been selected as the principal cemetery, as we find it occupied by a series of round mounds, forming a nearly straight row along the summit. (Fig. 17.) They are so situated, that if the forest-trees were removed, a very extended prospect could be obtained, embracing the site of the village below, and the course of the river in either direction. Three of these are partially blended at the base, and two had a slight ridge extending towards the northeast, or in a direction fromthe village; or the tadpole (the significant name of this variety of mound) was headed towards the principal works and probably main residence of the ancient population.
The lizards are here, as in most localities of a similar kind, placed with the head or largest part towards the water. Among them are a number with only one projection or leg, as shown in Fig. 18.
About five miles northwest of Hustisford, on the road to Juneau, the county seat (section twenty-six, township eleven, range fifteen), is an animal-formed mound, headed southward, and a ridge about one thousand feet in length, being much longer than any heretofore noticed. The direction is a little north of east. They do not appear to be connected with other works in the vicinity.
In the northwest part of this town are a number of mounds, but presenting no varieties different from those before described; excepting one cross, which, from the uniformity and great length of the arms, appears to differ from others. (See Fig. 19.) It is situated near the road, on the north line of section six, township eleven, range fifteen, one of the arms being crossed by it. The middle is on a gentle eminence, [page 53:] so that the arms descend in each direction. Being on an open prairie, there is an extended view from this point. Each arm appears to be of about the same size and length. The plough having already commenced its work of destruction, we could not determine the proportions exactly. The compass indicated that the arms were constructed almost precisely at right angles.
These remains are on the borders of a prairie, which, from the unevenness of its surface, is denominated “Rolling Prairie.” One prominent elevation has been supposed to be artificial (Fig. 20); but a little examination satisfied us that it was natural.
Towards the source of the Beaver Dam river, we found numerous mounds; especially near the northwest corner of the town of Juneau (township eleven, range fifteen). On section seven are some “oblongs,” one which was probably a “cross,” and two others, broad and flat, with tails. These are much injured by cultivation. They occupy a broad, gently undulating plain, the margin of the Rolling Prairie.
At the village of Beaver Dam, the stream is interrupted by a dam, so as to form a pond ten miles in length, similar, in many respects, to the one at Horicon, on Rock river. On the border of this pond, a little west of the village, was a series of mounds, now quite destroyed by the road that runs directly over them. Their forms could not be made out with any degree of accuracy.
Fig. 21 represents two mounds, with a connection probably accidental, situated on section one, township eleven, range fourteen. The effigy could not be made out in the cultivated field; but it was, apparently, of the kind called the lizard.
A few miles N. W. of this locality, on section twenty-seven, township twelve, range fourteen, is a group of various forms, mostly injured or destroyed. Their original number is estimated to have been between thirty and fifty. They were mostly of the turtle form, though some are said to have resembled the lizard, the buffalo, &c.
The works at Waushara, near the outlet of Fox lake, were on both sides of the river; but those on the east side were destroyed by the growth of the village. One circular tumulus was beautifully decorated with flowers, and will be preserved as an ornament in the flower garden of one of the citizens; a commendable instance of good taste.
On the west side of the stream is an extensive group containing a cross, oblongs, circular mounds, one of the bird form, and two that were perhaps intended to represent the elk (see Fig. 22). These are on the ridge, and along the slopes of the ridge, running parallel with the river, and but a short distance from it. Among the figures was a cross, the arms of which were oblique (Fig. 23), and one with the tail forming a tangent to the mound (Fig. 24), its outline resembling some forms of the war-club, or the modern tobacco-pipe.
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