not really a blog -- just a few pictures

Friday, July 06, 2012

Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin

In June an old friend and I visited Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, where the Mississippi and Wisconsin rivers meet.  This is the spot where the French explorer Jacques Marquette first discovered the (northern) Mississippi River.  In my picture, taken from Pikes Peak State Park in Iowa, the Mississippi is in the foreground and the bridge in the background crosses the Wisconsin.

The United States build two Fort Crawfords on this spot, much like Fort Snelling at the intersection of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers further north.  Chief Black Hawk fought against the United States during the War of 1812 and the 1832 Black Hawk War, and ultimately surrendered at the second Fort Crawford.  William Beaumont performed some of his famous digestion experiments on Alexis St. Martin, a man with a hole in his stomach, at the second Fort Crawford. My picture shows the rebuilt fort hospital, which is all that's left of the second fort.

Effigy Mounds National Monument is also there.  Prehistoric American Indians built mounds here in the shape of bears, birds, and other animals between 1,400 and 850 years ago.  My picture shows the Little Bear Mound, although the shape isn't very clear -- Wikipedia's picture is better.