As one would expect, the confluence of the Mississippi and Iowa rivers was a site of importance both before and after the European settlement of the area. At this location, the community of Toolesboro was platted, with the usual high expectations that it would quickly develop into a major city, but somehow this never came about. Today Toolesboro is still a small, pleasant river town.
Adjacent to the community is an extensive group of prehistoric Indian mounds. These low conical mounds (originally there were approximately 100 of them) are arranged to form a gentle crescent. They were constructed between 500 B.C.E. and 300 C.E. by the Hopewell people. A number of these mounds were excavated in the 1870s by the Davenport Academy of Science, and materials from these excavations may be seen at the Putnam Museum in Davenport (1717 West Twelfth Street). In 1963 the Iowa State Historical Society acquired 15.6 acres of this site, and in the early 1970s a visitors' center was built.
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