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McGregor

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Situated at the base of the high river bluff some distance from the river itself, is a splendid, exuberant example of the Queen Anne style, the Huntting house ( ME284).

The Hartwick House (1886) is 5.2 miles west of McGregor on the north side of US 18. This large-scale dwelling is an animated version of the Queen Anne style. The three-story tower displays an array of shingles in a variety of shapes, and the porches extend the house out into the landscape. Additions made to the house in 1903 and other changes somewhat “Colonialized” its design.

South of McGregor, east off Iowa 340, are two state parks that adjoin the Mississippi and provide dramatic views of the river valley. These are McGregor State Park and Pikes Peak State Park. Both parks provide excellent examples of the evolution of park planning over a number of decades, and they also contain a number of rustic park facilities. Within Pikes Peak State Park (named for Zebulon Pike) is an impressively designed stone-and-timber shelter (c. 1938). Thick limestone piers with just a suggestion of capitals march across the front of the building. These support what seem to be very light header beams and roof rafters above. The feel of the building is that of the 1930s: it is rustic, but with a tinge of modernity about it. Walking trails lead the visitor to four concentrations of Indian mounds. Two of these are composed of elongated oval mounds arranged in a line almost perpendicular to the Mississippi River. A third group of similarly formed mounds (at the far southern end of the park) runs parallel to the river. Finally, north of the shelter is an effigy mound in the form of a bear.

Effigy Mound National Monument is 3.4 miles north of McGregor. The first acquisition of land at the site took place in 1949. A Visitor and Museum Center opened in 1960 and additional acreage was added the next year. Within the national monument are 191 prehistoric mounds, 29 of which are effigy mounds in the form of either bears or birds. The largest of the effigy mounds is the Great Bear Mound, which measures 70 feet wide and 137 feet long. The Marching Bear group consists of ten bears, accompanied by three birds with outstretched wings, and two linear mounds. The nonrepresentational mounds are either conical or linear. The mounds in this area were surveyed by Theodore H. Lewis and Alfred J. Hill during the years 1881–1885; an examination of their records indicates how many mounds no longer exist. The mounds within the monument were built over many centuries and by several different Native American groups. The various mounds date from the eighth through the fifteenth centuries.

Writing Credits

Author: 
David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim

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