Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

Man Mound Park, Hwy 33

National or State Register of Historic Places
Man Mound Park, Hwy 33 | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Man Mound
Reference Number:78000138
Location (Address):Man Mound Park, Hwy 33
Man Mound
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.

Period of Significance:1000-500 AD
Area of Significance:Archeology/Prehistoric
Area of Significance:Art
Applicable Criteria:Information Potential
Historic Use:Funerary: Graves/Burials
Resource Type:Site
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
Historic Status:National Historic Landmark Status Granted
National Historic Landmark Listing Date:Mon Oct 31 00:00:00 UTC 2016
National Register Listing Date:11/30/1978
Number of Contributing Buildings:0
Number of Contributing Sites:1
Number of Contributing Structures:1
Number of Contributing Objects:0
Number of Non-Contributing Sites:1
Number of Non-Contributing Structures:1
Number of Non-Contributing Objects:0
National Register and State Register of Historic Places, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

How to Cite

For the purposes of a bibliography entry or footnote, follow this model:

National Register of Historic Places Citation
National Register of Historic Places, "Historic Name", "Town", "County", "State", "Reference Number".

Have Questions?

If you didn't find the National Register listing you were looking for or have other questions about the National Register, please email us and we can help: