Why were mounds destroyed or changed?
Unfortunately, most of the mounds that were still visible on the landscape at the time of European-American settlement have been destroyed or altered from their original forms. Many mounds were plowed under or destroyed during the construction of buildings and roads. Oddly, some mounds were damaged or altered in the course of early archaeological investigations. The mounds that you see today at the Willow Drive Mounds are a good example of how the original contours of a mound can take new forms. As can be seen in this 1885 site sketch (at left) prepared by T.H. Lewis, an archaeologist and early mound surveyor, there are four mounds present. The westernmost mound is in the shape of bird that likely represents a goose with bent wings. Number 2 is a round or hemispherical mound. Numbers 3 and 4 have been described as being “problematical” shapes, but clearly they are effigies of some kind. Charles E. Brown, an archaeologist and former director of the Wisconsin Historical Society, made a m