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General Atkinson Mound Group

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700–1100 CE. West end of Koshkonong Mounds Rd., Jefferson County Indian Mounds and Trail Park, 7 miles southwest of Fort Atkinson

Built on the shores of Lake Koshkonong, this mound group is typical of Late Woodland effigy mounds in south central Wisconsin. This group once consisted of seventy-two individual mounds, some conical or round, others linear, still others forming bird effigies and long-tailed animals. The last have often been referred to as “turtles,” but scholars now think that they represent water spirits or underground water panthers, long-tailed spirit beings in many Native American cosmologies. Twenty-seven of the effigy mounds have been destroyed by residential development. Although many of the surviving mounds are on private property, eleven are preserved in the Jefferson County Indian Mounds and Trail Park. These consist of tapering linear, conical, bird, and water spirit or panther forms, ranging from 75 to 222 feet in length. The park also includes an old Indian trail.

Writing Credits

Marsha Weisiger et al.


What's Nearby


Marsha Weisiger et al., "General Atkinson Mound Group", [Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Wisconsin

Buildings of Wisconsin, Marsha Weisiger and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2017, 252-253.

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