Mysterious Mound Rediscovered in Wauwatosa's Jacobus Park

Jun 16, 2016

At one time, the landscape of Wisconsin was full of burial mounds, the remnants of past Native American civilizations scattered around the state and the entire Midwest. There are some mounds, like Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa, about which a lot is known. Other mounds, like those at Aztalan State Park in Lake Mills, still have quite a lot of mystery surrounding them.

The recently rediscovered mound in Wauwatosa's Jacobus Park falls into the latter category. Milwaukee Magazine's Matt Hrodey explores the history of the long lost mound in a recent article, which have become increasingly rare in Wisconsin. 

"These are structures that existed to a much greater extent in Milwaukee, 100, 150y ears ago. But developments kind of slowly ground them and pulverize them into the earth," says Hrodey. 

The mound was actually first discovered in 1949, but when archeologists searched for it just over 30 years later, they were unable to find it. They assumed the mound had simply been destroyed. Then two years ago, an amateur archeologist named James Price, rediscovered the mound near a prominent trail in Jacobus Park. 

There is still some mystery surrounding the mound and debate over whether it's a burial mound or something else. The soil still has to be tested to ensure its authenticity. Still, the rediscovery may offer further insight into how indigenous peoples lived and died here, hundreds of years ago.