Man Mound Road, Town of Greenfield, Sauk County
Period of construction: AD 750 – 1200
The Man Mound (also known as the Greenfield Man Mound) is the only surviving earthen anthropomorphic effigy in the Upper Midwest. The figure is the sole mound at a small Late Woodland Stage/Effigy Mound culture mortuary and ceremonial center (ca. AD 750-1200). The site is located on gently sloping ground at the north base of the North arm of the Baraboo Range, northeast of Baraboo, in the civil township of Greenfield.
Most of the human figure is in excellent condition, with the exception of the figure’s lower legs and feet. The bulk of the mound is preserved within Man Mound Park. Man Mound Road passes through the lower legs of the earthwork, and the feet of the figure are located on private property north of the road. Surface indications of the feet have been heavily worn down by cattle pastured on the property.
The Man Mound was first identified and mapped by W. H. Canfield in 1859, a local surveyor and antiquarian. Canfield forwarded his survey maps to famed naturalist Increase Lapham, who published Canfield’s findings in a short journal article that year. The mound was surveyed a second time in 1905, by Arlow Stout, a member of the Wisconsin Archeological Society. Stout discovered that the landowner was planning to plow the mound, which had already been damaged by the placement of a road through its lower legs. An appeal to private individuals and state and local historical societies swiftly raised the money necessary to purchase the portions of the effigy south of Man Mound Road. A formal ceremony to dedicate the park was held on August 8, 1908. Since 1908 additional land has been added to the east side of the park, nearly doubling its size. In 2008, the park was re-dedicated, and the contours of the feet and legs were painted on the road and pasture using Canfield’s original survey measurements.
The Man Mound may be visited during regular park hours.