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Historical Essay


Origin of Muscoda, Wisconsin

Muscoda, Wisconsin | Wisconsin Historical Society
Dictionary of Wisconsin History.

There is a tradition that some English immigrants settled on the site of this village at a very early day and were massacred by the Indians. Nothing definite is known about it, but on the strength of the tradition the place was called English Prairie until about 1840. The present name was evidentally taken from Longfellow's Hiawatha in which is mentioned "The muscoda, the meadow". The place was also called Savannah. p. 684 of Hoflord's History of Grant CO. Muscoda, in Chippewa, is Mashkode, a large, open prairie. From Longfellow's poem "Hiawatha" "and Nokomis fell affrighted downward through the evening twilight on the Muskoday, the meadow on the prairie full of blooms." Corrup. of mushkodeng = "prairie." Applied this name, corrupt. into mascoultin, to a tribe of Indians on the upper Fox River in Wisconsin because they lived in a prairie country. Muscatine, Iowa, is another corruption. (v.) Mush-koh-da = prairie. (w.)

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[Source: Card file at the WHS Library reference deskFinnimore Times, August 1, 1923.]