035_Effigy Mounds Center Attracting Thousands
035_Effigy Mounds Center Attracting Thousands
Charles Reuben Keyes;Iowa Archaeologists; Iowa Ornithologists
This is a newspaper article by Anita Lindermann from The Cedar Rapids Gazette titled, "Effigy Mounds Center Attracting Thousands."
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State's Only National Monument to Celebrate 11th Year Tuesday
By Anita Lindemann, Gazette Correspondent
McGregor -- The new Visitors' Center at Effigy Mounds national monument, 5 miles north of McGregor on Highway 13, is a modern building which is attracting thousands of visitors now.
This is the only national monument in the state, and the park area is built around the Effigy (Indian burial) mounds. The grounds are well-landscaped; there are well-planned drives and ample parking lot for tourist buses as well as private cars.
Construction began May 25, 1959, and was completed Sept. 14, 1960, at a cost of $153,000, furnishings and utilities not included. Work was done by the Gordon Peterson Construction Cl, of Garnavillo.
This is part of the Mission 66 program of the United States National Park Service.
Members of the staff, includes Daniel J. Tubin, superintendent; Earl Iagmanson archeologist; Mrs. Kenneth Lamb, clerk-typist; and tow maintenance men; Bob Kile and Ralph Blackwell.
Over 8, 127 visitors have registered at Effigy Mounds the last 2 weekends, when the Fall Color show of colored foliage combined with fine weather brought thousands of tourists to this area.
The Visitors' Center has, first of all, a spacious lobby in the center of the building, running the full width, where visitors gather to take the trail to the Mounds, and there is a counter where they register.
The offices for the operation of the park area, and basement area that includes workshop facilities for the archaeologist, covers the administrative part of the building.
For the public, there is the exhibit wing or museum, where soft blues and delicate earth-tones are used in decoration. Inside the museum are about 15 archaeological exhibits, displayed in glass cases, describing the Indian mounds which can be seen from the trail.
The exhibits are designed to tell a story about who the Effigy mound-builders were--the American Indian--and to bring that story up to the arrival of the white man, Marquette and Joliet.
The exhibits themselves incorporate artifacts that were found by archeologists during excavations here and artifacts found in nearby areas that better illustrate the mounds and mound-builders. The museum will be open all winter, Mound-builders, here, have been traced back 1,750 years.
There is an auditorium to the left, as you enter the center of the visitors' center, designed to seat 60 people. It is equipped with modern slide projection and tape recording instruments, which present a slide projection and tape recording instruments, which present a complete automatic show to the public, describing the area and the Indians who once roamed the area. The slide projector and tape recording instruments can be operated from the controls at the counter desk in the lobby.
The seats are modern blue, grey and white plastic, chrome chairs of modern design. The one wall has a projection screen wall, an area 10x12 feet, with theater screen paint on it. The entire building is air-conditioned, both for hot and cold weather. It is heated with oil.
One feature of the center is the promenade across the back of the building that gives the visitors' a fine view of the Mississippi river and surrounding bluffs.
A nice view can also be seen from the center lobby of the river and bluffs. The promenade leads to a bridge over the brook-filled ravine which leads to the Mounds trail--this climbing walk provides many beautiful river and foliage vistas. The naturalists can see trees, plants, stones and wildlife on this trail.
The buildings at Effigy Mounds are constructed of tan, modern-style brick, using cement floors covered with vinyl tile. Wide overhangs provide roof shelter over the walks at the visitor's center as well as the 2 new residences that house park personnel. There is also a tan brick walled parking area for park machinery near the residences and a workshop.
The eleventh anniversary of Effigy Mounds will be Tuesday.
This monument was established in 1949, when President Harry Truman signed a proclamation establishing 1,000 acres of Indian Mound area, 5 miles north of McGregor, as Effigy Mounds national monument. Congress appropriated $11119 for its maintenance and improvement and William J. Kennedy was the first superintendent. Walter Berrett succeeded him as superintendent, followed by Daniel Tobin.
Attendance the first year, 1950, was 1,742 visitors. The largest attendance was for 1958 with 66,897. Attendance for the tenth year, 1951, was 65,398 visitors.
Attendance for this year, through Oct. 17, was 55,007. The drop in attendance the last 2 years has been due to the park being under construction. Tobin said he anticipates 86,000 visitors in 1961.