Saturday, July 30, 2016

The merry men of Dickson Mounds

This postcard dates to the time before people had a sense of how to create a visually attractive postcard.

It features four Caucasian individuals, some of whom might have been awoken recently from a nap, standing in from a building that's boldly labeled DICKSON MOUNDS, so that there is no doubt about the matter.

The men are not identified and the postcard was never written on or mailed. The only things we can learn from back are that it was published by L.L. Cook Co. of Milwaukee and that the design of Kodak Paper stamp box indicates the card was produced in 1950 or thereafter.

I'm assuming that these men have something to do with DICKSON MOUNDS and didn't just happen to be standing in the field when the photographer took the photo for the postcard.

So what is Dickson Mounds? Well, that's the cool part. It's a Native American (Mississippian culture) settlement site and burial mound complex that was in active use from about 800 A.D. to 1250 A.D. and is located near what is now Lewistown, Illinois. In 1927, a chiropractor named Don Dickson (possibly one of the men in the postcard) discovered the burial mounds on his family farm. He left the remains and artifacts intact and covered the excavation with a tent. Later, he opened a private museum on the site. The state of Illinois has owned the site since 1945 and opened the Dickson Mounds Museum in 1972. In 1992, after much debate, the portion of the museum that displayed Native American remains was closed and the remains were reburied.

The Dickson Mounds are about 140 miles north of another notable Native American location, Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site.

Here are some links for further information and exploration of Dickson Mounds.

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