Effigy Mounds
Administrative History
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Appendix A:
circa 8000 BC First known inhabitants occupied north eastern Iowa as evidenced by mounds, rock shelters, and other artifacts.
circa 5000—4000 BC Archaic hunter—gatherers occupied northeastern Iowa.
circa 500 BC—500 AD Early and Middle Woodland people occupied much of the midwest.
circa 500—1000 The Effigy Mound Builders occupied Wisconsin and several bordering states, including northeastern Iowa.
circa 1000—1650 Members of the Oneota culture occupied northeastern Iowa.
1673 Father Jacques Marquette, Louis Joliet, and companions traveled down the Wisconsin River into the Mississippi.
1680 Robert Cavelier, Sieur de LaSalle, built a trading post in the approximate location of modern Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.
1685 French fur trader Nicholas Perrot established Fort St. Nicholas near Prairie du Chien.
1738 Pierre Paul Sineur Marin built a fort at the mouth of Sny Magill Creek and traded with the Sac, Fox, and Winnebago Indians.
1763 Britain assumed control of the east bank of the Mississippi River; Spain controlled the west bank.
1766 Massachusetts surveyor Jonathan Carver noted the presence of approximately 300 families residing on the Prairie du Chien terrace. Carver's reports mentioned the burial mounds in the area, but did not mention effigy shaped mounds.
1773 Fur trader Peter Pond observed and recorded the presence of mounds in northeastern Iowa.
1780 A party of Americans occupied the Prairie du Chien terrace upon its evacuation by the British.
1800 Spanish Lieutenant—Governor Don Carlos Dehault Delassus of upper Louisiana granted American Basil Giard a tract of approximately 5,760 acres in modern Clayton County, Iowa. Giard was the first American to own land in Iowa.
1805 Zebulon Pike explored the upper Mississippi River valley. Although his reports failed to mention the presence of mounds in the area, one of the locations he recommended as a possible site for a fort contained a large bear mound.
1812-1813 Americans constructed Fort Shelby on St. Feriole's Island.
1814 The British captured Fort Shelby and renamed it Fort McKay. When the Treaty of Ghent ordered the British out of the Old North west, Fort McKay was burned to the ground.
1816 Colonel William Southerland Hamilton super vised the construction of Fort Crawford on the site of Fort Shelby/McKay. The Fort Crawford military reservation extended across the Mississippi River into part of the modern national monument.
1817 Fort Crawford opened an English language school.
1823 Major Stephen Long of the Army's Topographical Engineers explored the area and reported the presence of a wide variety of mounds.
1825 The United States government called a great council of Plains and Woodland tribes in an effort to end continual warfare among the tribes. The government drew a boundary line separating the Sioux on the north from the Sac and Fox on the south. Fort Crawford's troops were relocated to Fort Snelling, Minnesota.
1827 Recognizing the failure of the council of 1825 to end clashes among the tribes, the Army reopened Fort Crawford.
1829 Captain T.F. Smith opened a sawmill on the Yellow River about 3-1/2 miles north of its juncture with the Mississippi. The sawmill provided wood for the construction of a new Fort Crawford on higher ground. The post also operated a garden south of the Yellow River, and obtained limestone from the vicinity of modern Marquette, Iowa.
1830 Post commander Colonel Zachary Taylor as signed Lieutenant Jefferson Davis to super vise the post sawmill.

The U.S. government convened a second council at Fort Crawford, and extended the boundary between the Sioux and the Sac and Fox twenty miles on each side of the 1825 boundary line, creating a forty-mile-wide "neutral zone." This attempt also failed to bring peace to the region.

1833 Following the Blackhawk War, the government moved the Winnebago Indians from Wisconsin to the eastern portion of the neutral zone. The government purchased the fifty-mile-wide area extending from the Missouri state border to the neutral zone, forcing the Sac and Fox tribes to move westward. The so-called "Blackhawk Purchase" became the core of the state of Iowa.

Jefferson Davis married Sarah Taylor, daughter of Zachary Taylor.

1834 The Winnebago Yellow River Mission School and Farm was constructed with lumber provided by the "Jefferson Davis sawmill." The school was situated three miles north of the sawmill on the Yellow River. Taylor removed the machinery from the sawmill following the school's construction.
circa 1838—1840 Soldiers built or improved a military road to facilitate the construction of (and later, communication with) Fort Atkinson, a new post located fifty miles west of the Mississippi River in modern Winneshiek County, Iowa. The "Old Military Road" crosses the south unit of the national monument.
1848 E.G. Squier and E.H. Davis mapped and excavated almost 200 Hopewellian mounds from Ohio to Wisconsin.
1849 The United States government abandoned Fort Atkinson, Fort Crawford, and the Iowa portion of the Old Military Road.
1858 William Pidgeon recorded the Iowa effigy mounds in his Traditions of the De-coo-dah and Antiquarian Researches.
1881 Alfred J. Hill and Theodore H. Lewis surveyed and mapped northeastern Iowa mounds.
circa 1885—1940 Ellison Orr conducted surveys of north eastern Iowa mounds.
1890—1891 The Bureau of American Ethnology's research team studied northeastern Iowa mounds.
1890—1920 The University of Iowa expressed interest in the mounds in northeastern Iowa.
circa 1905 Duren J.H. Ward published articles on pre historic man in the Iowa Journal of History and Politics.
1909 State Representative George H. Schulte supported the idea of a national park near McGregor, Iowa.
1915 United States Senator William S. Kenyon of Iowa introduced legislation proposing the creation of a national park in northeastern Iowa. Secretary of the Interior Franklin Lane put the bill on hold pending study of the area. Five hundred dollars was appropriated via Congressman Gilbert Haugen's amendment to the general appropriations bill to fund the study.
1917 Department of the interior employee M.L. Dorr toured the upper Mississippi River valley, but made no recommendations concerning the national park proposal.

Rep. Haugen of Iowa introduced legislation to establish a national park in northeastern Iowa. No action was taken due to United States involvement in the First World War.

1919 Sen. Kenyon introduced S. 1317 to authorize a Mississippi Valley National Park near Prairie du Chien. The proposal died in committee.
1920 Charles Reuben Keyes of the Iowa Archeological Survey published his first report on prehistoric man in Iowa.
1921 Sen. Kenyon introduced legislation proposing the establishment of Mississippi Valley National Park. Again, the bill died in committee.
1922 Keyes presented his plan for preservation of Iowa mounds to the Board of Curators of the Iowa State Historical Society.
1923 Sen. Kenyon and Rep. Haugen proposed the authorization of Mississippi Valley National Park for the third time. For the third time, it died in committee.
1928 Mrs. Munn of New York donated a tract of land in northeastern Iowa to the United States Biological Survey for preservation purposes. The secretary of the interior sent National Park Service (NPS) personnel to appraise the land; they determined it was not suitable for national park status.

Subsequently, the Biological Survey donated the land to the state of Iowa, who used it to form the core of Pike's Peak State Park.

1929 Rep. Haugen introduced H.R. 2040 to study the feasibility of establishing a Mississippi Valley National Park. The proposal included seventeen counties in four states. The assistant secretary of the interior toured the 220-mile area covered by the bill and recommended the total area for national park status.
1930 President Herbert Hoover signed the Haugen bill permitting a full study of the proposed park.
1931—1932 Roger W. Toll surveyed the area and prepared a report recommending against national park status for the 220—mile area under consideration, saying it lacked the special qualities characteristic of national parks. Toll recommended, however, the proclamation of a national monument to preserve the prehistoric burial mounds in northeastern Iowa.
1932 Charles R. Keyes presented a preservation plan to the Iowa State Board of Conservation.

National Park Service Chief Historian Verne Chatelain inspected the McGregor area mound groups, accompanied by Charles R. Keyes, Ellison Orr, Mrs. Henry Frankel, Mrs. Gilbert King, and Walter H. Beal.

1933 The Iowa Journal of History and Politics published an issue on the archeology, his tory, and geology of northeastern Iowa.
1934 The Iowa State Board of Conservation combined with the State Fish and Game Commission to form the Iowa Conservation Commission.
1934—1938 Charles R. Keyes began surveying Iowa under Federal Emergency Relief Authority (FERA) and Works Progress Administration (WPA) programs. Ellison Orr was field supervisor for the archeological crews in northeastern Iowa.
1936 The Iowa Conservation Commission presented to the National Park Service a plan for the preservation of the Iowa mounds. The plan included a proposed boundary for a mounds park.
1937 Neal Butterfield, Howard Baker, and Edward Hummel of the National Park Service inspect ed the area and proposed inclusion of three mound groups (Jennings-Liebhardt, Yellow River, and Sny Magill) in a national monument.

The National Park Service learned the Corps of Engineers had jurisdiction over part of Sny Magill mound group, and was in the process of transferring the land to the department of the interior for fish and wildlife purposes. The Corps' transfer was to be contingent upon the Corps of Engineers's continued right to flood the area, if needed, to ensure safe navigation of the Mississippi River. NPS postponed action to acquire Sny Magill pending completion of the transfer to the Fish and Wildlife Service and study of the potential impacts of the Corps' reservation of flooding rights on the NPS' ability to preserve the mounds.

The state of Iowa developed Pike's Peak State Park.

1941 The Iowa legislature authorized the transfer of up to 1,000 acres to be transferred to the United States for purposes of establishing a national monument.
1946 The state of Iowa completed acquisition of the 1,000 acres to be transferred to the United States.

The National Park Service and the state of Iowa agreed upon the name of Effigy Mounds National Monument.

Assistant Chief Historian Herbert Kahler visited the area and recommended that monument headquarters be located on the Jennings-Liebhardt tract, not in McGregor, Iowa.

NPS Regional Historian Olaf T. Hagen and Iowa Conservation Commission Officer V.W. Flickinger agreed the Sny Magill unit should be included in the national monument to protect the mounds from erosion and from nearby logging operations. NPS deferred action pending resolution of several issues.

1947 Conflicts over the Corps of Engineers' insistence on retaining the right to flood Sny Magill and confusion over land ownership resulted in a recommendation to proclaim the Jennings-Liebhardt and Yellow River units as Effigy Mounds National Monument. NPS would pursue the addition of the Sny Magill unit at a later date.
1949 Acting Director Arthur Demaray accepted title to the 1,000 acres donated by the state of Iowa.

President Harry Truman proclaimed Effigy Mounds National Monument on October 25.

William J. ("Joe") Kennedy reported for duty as the monument's first superintendent on November 11.

1950 NPS constructed a driveway and gravel parking lot; rehabilitated a farmhouse on the monument grounds for use as a superintendent's residence; refurbished an old wagon trail as a trail to Fire Point; built an equipment shed/office building at park headquarters; and posted directional and other signs.

NPS filled potholes and planted seed to stabilize the turf of disturbed mounds in the north unit.

The monument entered cooperative agreements with the U.S. Soil Conservation Service and the Iowa Conservation Commission for mutual fire protection.

Superintendent Joe Kennedy signed cooperative agreements with the Allamakee and Clayton County Soil Conservation Districts to coordinate NPS soil conservation measures with the appropriate county agency.

Several archeologists visited Effigy Mounds National Monument, including NPS archeologist Paul Beaubien, the University of Wisconsin's David Baerreis, and David Stout of the University of Iowa.

Assistant Director Conrad Wirth and Landscape Architect Robert Ludden visited the monument while surveying the area proposed as the Mississippi River Parkway, and recommended the removal of trees from the burial mounds.

1951 Iowa Archeological Society established.

Ellison Orr passed away at age 93. Paul Beaubien gathered Orr's collection of papers and books for the monument's museum collection.

Iowa legislature authorized the transfer of an additional 204.39 acres to the federal government.

Trail in north unit extended to the top of the bluff. Trailside exhibit signs in stalled.

NPS Director Arthur Demaray approved master plan proposing construction of an administration and museum building, two residences, and two single-hole privies at Effigy Mounds National Monument.

1952 Acting Director Hillory Tolson accepted an additional 204.36 acres from the state of Iowa.

NPS Archeologist Paul Beaubien conducted tests and excavated some mounds at Sny Magill. Beaubien's research verified the significance of the Sny Magill group.

Little Bear mound outlined in crushed limestone.

One—and-one—quarter—mile loop trail in north unit completed.

Walter T. ("Pete") Berrett succeeded Kennedy as superintendent on September 22.

1954 NPS entered into cooperative agreements with McGregor and Marquette for fire fighting services.

The National Park Service initiated negotiations with A.B. Ferguson to purchase a 100-acre parcel adjoining the national monument.

1955 The Des Moines Founders Garden Club donated a 40—acre tract which includes "Founders Pond" to the national monument.
1956 Heavy rains flooded the Mississippi valley.

NPS initiated Mission 66 program to improve facilities in park areas.

Effigy Mounds National Monument's Mission 66 prospectus approved.

19567 Director Conrad Wirth visited Effigy Mounds National Monument.

Some recovered artifacts were displayed in the temporary visitor contact station (former chicken coop) at headquarters.

Regional Chief of Interpretation H. Raymond Gregg recommended a policy of nondestructive research at Effigy Mounds National Monument.

Wayne H. Scholtes conducted pollen analysis of the soil samples taken from the national monument.

1958 Daniel J. ("Jim") Tobin became the area's third superintendent on November 16.

NPS requested Congressional action to change the boundary of Effigy Mounds National Monument to include Sny Magill, the 100-acre Ferguson tract, and other small parcels of land. No action was taken in Washington.

Construction of Mission 66 facilities began.

A.A. Rhomberg surveyed the monument's north, west, and south boundaries and M.A. Moser erected barbed wire fences along the boundaries.

Regional Soil Conservationist Fred Dickison gathered data to develop a vegetation management plan for the national monument.

1959 The boundary change request authorizing the addition of several tracts of land was resubmitted. Again, no action was taken.

NPS constructed water and sewer systems, rebuilt the entrance road and parking lot, and began construction of the residences.

With the concurrence of the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service authorized the Iowa Conservation Commission to build a concrete boat ramp and a gravel road at Sny Magill.

NPS upgraded the north unit trails.

Regional Director Howard Baker established a policy against further destructive investigations of the mounds at the national monument.

1959—1960 The superintendent and the archeologist moved into the newly—constructed Mission 66 residences at headquarters.
1960 The boundary change request was again resubmitted, with no results.

Visitor center construction completed. Trails completed.

1960—1961 NPS worked with Fish and Wildlife Service to record observations of bald eagles in the area.
1961 Congress passed legislation changing the monument's boundary, authorizing acquisition of the 100-acre Ferguson parcel, and appropriating $2000 for land acquisition.

Visitor center dedicated.

NPS removed trees from Marching Bear mounds, filled holes and planted grass to restore the mounds and prevent erosion.

1962 The Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries transferred the Sny Magill unit to the National Park Service for inclusion in the national monument.

Donald M. Spalding succeeded Jim Tobin as superintendent on July 15.

1963 Effigy Mounds Archeologist Garland Gordon discovered and tested the FTD site east of the national monument's north unit.

NPS developed a herbarium identifying 329 plant species within the national monument.

1964 As acting superintendent, Garland Gordon recommended inclusion of the FTD site in the national monument. No action was taken by regional or Washington office staffs.

Badlands National Park Chief Ranger James Batman served as acting superintendent of Effigy Mounds National Monument for several months.

Stuart H. ("Mike") Maule became superintendent on December 9.

1966 In response to complaints from the National Park Service, the Iowa Conservation Commission ordered that privately—owned boats moored near the dock at Sny Magill be moved immediately.
1967 Superintendent Maule requested that Regional Director Fred C. Fagergren pursue a boundary change authorizing the inclusion of the FTD site, the remainder of the Ferguson property, and the Bruckner parcel. The regional director took no action.

Milton E. Thompson succeeded Mike Maule as superintendent on December 17.

1971 Thomas A. Munson assumed the superintendency of Effigy Mounds National Monument on January 24.

NPS stabilized several mounds in the northern portion of the north unit.

The National Park Service replaced bundle burials in the monument's museum exhibit with a cast replica, so as not to offend contemporary Native American residents of the Mississippi valley.

1972 Congress appropriated an additional $12,000 for the purchase of the Ferguson tract.
1973 Carl Fitzgerald Roofing and Construction Company reroofed the visitor center.
1974 NPS seasonal Ranger William Reinhardt discovered two bear mounds on the Ferguson land outside the monument's authorized boundary. Luther College staff later surveyed the Ferguson property.
1975 NPS acquired the Ferguson tract as authorized by the 1961 boundary adjustment. The parcel did not include the Reinhardt mounds.

Archeologists David Benn and Dean Thompson of Luther College investigated the FTD site, which had been exposed by unusually low river levels. Benn and Thompson submitted a copy of their preliminary report to State Historic Preservation Officer Adrian Anderson and the Corps of Engineers district office in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Robert Q. Landers of Iowa State University conducted a survey of native prairie remnants in Midwest Region parks.

1976 Corps of Engineers officials agreed the Corps was obligated to mitigate the negative effects of lock—and—dam—caused erosion at the FTD site.
1979 The Corps of Engineers allocated funds for data recovery at the FTD site, but was unable to award a contract before the end of the fiscal year. As a result, no recovery was undertaken.
1980 In response to the Service's request, the state of Iowa added a twelve—foot—wide turn land at the monument's entrance.

Corps of Engineers Archeologist David Berwick met with Stan Riggle of the Iowa State Historic Preservation Office at the FTD site. They agreed data recovery should be undertaken only if the site could not be preserved.

Volunteers under the leadership of Clark Mallam of Luther College worked with the monument staff to produce the first aerial photographs of the Sny Magill mounds.

1981 The Corps of Engineers constructed a rock dike to stem erosion of the FTD site. Stilwell Construction Company insulated and installed a suspended ceiling in the visitor center.

Tesar Excavation and Building Construction Company improved the north unit trail system, including the construction of a stair way beneath Fire Point and the installation of safety guardrails at Hanging Rock and Twin Views overlooks.

1983 Congress approved another boundary change authorizing the exchange of a small monument parcel for the Tesar property adjoining the national monument.

NPS added a twenty- by twenty-five-foot flammable storage room to the workshop and a basement curatorial storage room/work area to the visitor center.

University of Wisconsin student Greg Moore recommended the use of prescribed burns to restore native prairie remnants at Effigy Mounds National Monument. In response, NPS prepared a fire management plan for the monument.

1984 The National Park Service exchanged land parcels with Roberta Tesar. The present boundaries of the national monument were complete.
1986 Interstate Roofing and Waterproofing, Inc., reroofed and installed a skylight in the visitor center.

A team of park, regional, and Denver Service Center personnel initiated preparation of a general management plan for Effigy Mounds National Monument.

Aerial Services, Inc., provided photogrammetric data and topographical maps of Sny Magill.

1987 NPS began charging entrance fees.

Stilwell Construction Company modified the visitor center to eliminate exterior access to the restrooms and to improve their accessibility to the handicapped.

NPS permitted the Fish and Wildlife Service to construct an information kiosk adjacent to the boat ramp at Sny Magill.

Elizabeth Henning of Oneota Enterprises prepared a land-use study of Sny Magill.

Church's Surveying and Mapping prepared a map of the Sny Magill unit.

Arthur Bettis III conducted a geomorphological study at Sny Magill.

NPS began prescribed burns in accordance with fire management plan.

1988 NPS archeologists under the direction of Janis Dial-Jones conducted field investigations at Sny Magill.
1987—1988 Dale Henning of Luther College tested areas between mounds, some newly—identified mound ed features at Sny Magill, and some rock shelters.

National Park Service upgraded museum exhibits.

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Last Updated: 08-Oct-2003