History

The DMNA History Committee searches for and documents stories about the formation, development and growth of our little area in Madison. 

DMNA has published a history booklet on our neighborhood, available as a PDF at this shortcut on our DMNA website:  http://www.dmna.org/explore.

We are currently reconvening the DMNA History Committee.  We eagerly invite you to join us if you have an interest in any aspect of the rich history of our neighborhood - archeological and anthropological, the growth of Madison and Monroe Street, or documenting current "history in the making".  DMNA and the History Committee have a rich and interesting history of our own.  Please send a message to history@DMNA.org or give a call to the History Committee Chair. Become a little part of history!

Native Effigy Mounds of Lake Wingra; (DMNA Annual Meeting, April, 2015)

*** Watch a video of Professor Birmingham talk about the spiritual/cultural significance of the Wingra Springs near the Jens Jensen 'Wheeler Council Ring', Oak Savannah, and Dudgeon School:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CygxhggdeY8&feature=youtu.be

Archeologist and author Robert A Birmingham was the guest speaker for the DMNA Annual Meeting for all members this past April 19, 2015.  Professor Birmingham was the state archeologist for the Wisconsin Historical Society for fifteen years and has authored numerous books and articles on ancient Native Cultures of Wisconsin.  He now teaches at the University of Wisconsin - Waukesha and writes from his home in Madison.  Professor Birmingham has an energizing and far reaching expertise on the ancient Effigy Mounds that covered the landscape of the Four Lakes region, now Madison.  The mounds that surrounded Lake Wingra and through the Dudgeon-Monroe and other Lake Wingra neighborhood areas have been described by Professor Birmingham as 'among the desest and most impressive effigy mound groupings found anywhere'.  (See articles from the Spring and Summer, 2015, Hornblower Newsletters at this DMNA webpage menu).

Professor Birmingham lead a group of neighbors on a talking tour of the Effigy Mounds of Edgewood College, site of the DMNA Annual Meeting.  Look for future posts of video excerpts of his talk coming to this page, soon.

Following are some links for more profile information and interview from Professor Birmingham, and also some links to Effigy Mound information websites:

About Professor Robert A. Birmingham:

http://waukesha.uwc.edu/bio/robert-birmingham

http://uwpress.wisc.edu/books/3734.htm

http://wpt.org/University-Place/effigy-mounds-madison-and-four-lakes-ep-463

http://host.madison.com/news/local/know-your-madisonian-archaeologist-explores-madison-area-s-effigy-mounds/article_3a29287f-6b21-5d14-896b-cae4061e3c79.html

Effigy Mounds of Dudgeon-Monroe and Adjacent Neighborhoods:

http://www.wisconsinmounds.com/EdgewoodCollegeMounds.html

http://www.wisconsinmounds.com/ForestHillCemeteryMounds.html

http://www.wisconsinmounds.com/VilasParkMounds.html

http://www.wisconsinmounds.com/BearMoundPark.html

http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/Antiquities/antiqP32.html

https://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/tp-004/?action=more_essay

Hornblower Articles:

http://www.dmna.org/hornblower/spring2015.pdf --by Darryl Sherman, DMNA Annual Meeting, The Effigy Mounds of Lake Wingra; Page 1, Hornbolower, Spring, 2015: 

'DMNA History – Effigy Mounds presentation by professor Robert Birmingham at the 2015 Annual Meeting -- Stephen Billingham, Chair DMNA History Committee;  DMNA Hornblower Newsletter, Summer, 2015.

Dudgeon Monroe neighbors love and revere our neighborhood, but few understand our locale as a spiritually sacred center for civilization over millenniums.  Lake Wingra Springs are the abode of powerful water spirits, serpent beasts and underground water panthers, and the very source of life itself. Great celestial birds, invisible but very powerful and making thunder as they flew, were extremely helpful to the people of our sacred land. Spirit bears had providence of the earth.   Native people lived to mitigate the balances of these great powers of order and chaos.  Spiritual beings were brought to life by the ritual creation of earth effigy mounds, at the places where the spirits actually lived -- here where Dudgeon School stands, on the Monroe Street ridge, in Forest Hills cemetery, along the lake shores, and in a continuous landscape surrounding our lake.

Our neighborhood is a center of it all as we learned from our guest speaker at the DMNA Annual Meeting, Archaeologist Robert A. Birmingham.  About Lake Wingra, he writes ‘Surrounding its shores there are among the densest and most impressive effigy mound groupings found anywhere’ (ref. from book, below).   After an animated and engaging 45 minute synopsis of 14,000 years of human history in our neighborhood, Professor Birmingham took us on an elucidating tour of the effigy mounds still extant on the Edgewood College Campus.

Professor Birmingham lives in Madison, and served as the Wisconsin State Archaeologist for fifteen years at the Wisconsin Historical Society.  His book, Spirits of Earth; The Effigy Mound Landscape of Madison and the Four Lakes, (2010), is available through The University of Wisconsin Press (UW Press is located also on Monroe Street, BTW).'