Wisconsin School for the Deaf - Tattler Yearbook (Delavan, WI)

 - Class of 1929

Page 14 of 28


Wisconsin School for the Deaf - Tattler Yearbook (Delavan, WI) online yearbook collection, 1929 Edition, Page 14 of 28
Page 14 of 28

Wisconsin School for the Deaf - Tattler Yearbook (Delavan, WI) online yearbook collection, 1929 Edition, Page 13
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Page 14 text:

AZTALAN By Selma Z«da no The ancient city of Altaian, located hut forty-live miles directly west of Milwaukee, has long-been referred to as one of the wonders of the western world. In October 1863 it wua discovered by Timothy Johnson. Nathaniel F. Hycr came two years later to make explorations into the ruins, lie named the place “Altaian,” because the Aztecs of Mexico had a tradition that their ancestors came from u country to the north named Altaian, which in Mexican means “near water." This tradition led him to believe that the Ax tecs used to live near the Great Lakes and that this city might have been their old home. In 1838 Edward Everett heard about Altaian and he, as governor of Connecticut, asked the President of the United States not to lot it be sold. However, it was sold for one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre or twenty-two dollars for the whole ruins. The settlors started ploughing and sowing turnips on the mound. Some silver ornaments were found at this time and many people rushed there and dug trenches to see what they could find. Aztalnn wus a walled enclosure of seventeen and two-thirds acres of land. It hud walls twenty feet wide and from one to five feet high on three sides. The Crawfish, the first western tributary of the Rock River, formed the boundary for the fourth side. Approximately sixty-one to ninety-five feet apart along the wall, there are forty-five mounds. Many say the walls were of brick, hut they were not. Some clay mixed with grass seems to have been baked and used, but the entire walls were not made of this material. There were a number of mounds of different sizes and shupes in this enclosure. One of these was shaped like u pyramid, but it was not very high. The top was sixty to sixty-five feet above the surrounding ground. Some people think it was a place for the Indians to protect themselves from the enemy, while others think it was an altar for worshipping. This mound ha been partly destroyed by people who were seeking money. In 1850 Increase Lnpham made a careful survey of Aztalan. He excavated in several mounds but found very little of importance. He found some human bones, shells and pottery. The bones seemed to be those of two people buried in a sitting posture. Dr. Lapham was told that one time two loads of broken pots, uncovered by the plow, were used to fill hotes in the road. Dr. Ijipham thought that Lhis enclosure might have been a holy city or a place for worship. There was no place like it for a great distance in any direction. People may have gathered on the pyramids and offered human sacrifices at their altars because, in the mounds, human bones were often found mixed with charcoal. On the other hand, this might show that cannibals held feasts there and cooked the tlesh of their captives. There was not much exploration until 11 19 when the Milwaukee Public Museum sent its director, Dr. S. A. Barrett, to Aztalnn. People who were interested, were nfrnid that the plow and civilization might destroy all traces of the old city. This expedition worked two summers excavating this place. In a refuse heap on the west hank of the river, they found broken pottery, stone implements and various tools. They dug where some of the walls were and found rows of post holes which showed thnt posts had been set there for defensive purposes and that it was probably a stockaded fort. The entrance was through a very narrow alley bordered on each side by post holes. This alley had twists and turns forming u trap and making the fort very hard for an enemy to enter. The foundations of a number of dwellings were ulso discovered. Many implements, ornaments of stone, bone, copper and many shells were also found. A great deal of fine pottery, highly polished and of very different shape , probably like that used to fill holes in the road, was also unearthed. One odd ladle, shaped like a guard, wo also found. This is the finest pottery discovered in mounds anywhere north of Mexico. Some cloth was also discovered showing that the people were pottery makers and weavers and were very artistic. They also seemed to know much about military tactics as many beautiful arrow-heads were found. A skeleton of a young woman was found with thousands of beads, made from pearl shells or mussels from the rivers of southwestern Wisconsin. about her. The beads seem to have been attached to a belt of some material, and strings of beads seem to have been worn about her ankles and neck. In 11 22 Aztalan wus purchased by the citizens of Jefferson County and presented to the Wisconsin Archaeological Society to be permanently kept as a park. It was marked by this society in 11 27 with n large bronze murker. The Winnebagos lived near this site once, but say their people did not start this village. Who did, nobody knows.

Page 13 text:

VIEW PROM THE HII.LS ON THE NORTH THE ROMANCE OF THE WISCONSIN RIVER By Wilson Grabill The Wisconsin River has few rivals in geolog-iriil interest, thrilling episodes, romantic charm, and scenic beauty. Indians used the river as n water-way for hundreds of years before the first white man set foot on the American continent. so naturally, the river is rich in Indian lore. An old Indian legend regarding its origin is a follows: Once an immense serpent, or big mnnitou, lived in the woods near laike Michigan. One day he started to crawl from his home to the sea. His body wore a great groove or channel through the forests and fields, and into this the water rushed. When he moved his tail, great musses of water splashed out and formed lakes. Less powerful manitous hurried out of his way, forming channels of their own and in-cidently, the smaller streams that now run into the river. Near the Wisconsin I)t lls, he encountered a great body of rock, hut finding a crack, he stuck his head in, and rent the rock apart by sheer force, thereby forming the queer shaped rocks of the Dells. Be this as it may; we know that the river dates back to the Paleothic period, an age before man appeared on earth. The glaciers of various times wrought quite a few changes. It is believed that the Wisconsin River once flowed through where Madison and Janesville now are, besides forming the famous Council Bluffs, north of Janesville. It is now four hundred miles long from its source in northern Wisconsin to its place of confluence with the Mississippi River near Prairie du Chicn. Just below the Dells it makes a sharp turn, almost touching the Fox River, which is called the “Devil's Elbow." Over one thousand four hundred lakes pour their surplus water into this amazing river. Some people consider the Dells as being second only to the Y’cllowstone National Park in Colorado. Historians frequent the river for the wealth of Indian lore which ubounds around it. This river is believed to he almost the only river in the world which has four distinct types of drainage. No one can say for certain how long the river will run on, perhaps for millions of years, always changing into new beds, yet we can he sure of one fact; the more one studies it, the more he is impressed with its history and future possi-I ilities. As yet, the Kilbourn Dam which is three hundred feet long and generates ten thousand horsepower, supplying Southern Wisconsin with light, is the only plant taking advantage of its power. In the future, as needs arise, plants of more than thirty thousand horse power will be built. Without the Wisconsin River, I do not believe that Wisconsin could be the state she is today. To know the Wisconsin River is to know and understand Wisconsin.

Page 15 text:

COMMISSARY DEPARTMENT THE WISCONSIN DELLS By Ernest Gledhill Then are few places in the United States which are noted for the scenic beauty and interest, os are the Dells near Kilbourn, Wisconsin. The word Dells is derived from the French word Dalles, moaning flagstones. The Winnebago term for the Dells was N’eeh-ah-ke-coonnh er-nh, meaning, where the rocks strike together. Above and below Kilbourn, the Wisconsin River hus cut a deep gorge more than seven miles long in the Potsdam sandstones, this portion being known as the Dells. Most likely, the Dells did not appear until the last glacier; the ice then filling the old river bed. There is known to be one or two cause ns to how the Dells came into existence. The Dells may have been a river delta, anil the layers of sand not always being deposited in a horizontal position. While on the other hand, the sand may have been laid down in the sea, and in thut case the storm waves disturbed the layers. Later this sand was converted into sandstones. With the receding of the ice, the work of carving the sandstones has continued to the present day. It ts not known who the first visitors were, hut at least it is known that the Green Bay traders had their trading post on the upper river. The earliest permanent settlers of the lower Dells were Amnsn Wilson, C. B. Wilson and R. V Allen. In 1K45 a small steamboat passed through the DelU, this being the first boat to pass through here, by means of this kind of craft- Among the many wonderful rocks, there are: Angel Rock or the Marble Rock a it Is some- times called, The Swallow's Home, The Jaws of the Dells, which is the main entrance. Chimney Rock. Black Hawk's Head. The Navy Yard, The Devil’s Elbow, Black Hawk’s Cave, Artist’s Glen and Witches Gulch. Above this rock, there are: Hornet's Nest, Luncheon Hall, Stand Rock. Demon’s Anvil, Louis Bluff and Elephant’s Back. There was a superstitious belief among many young Indians. It was n legend about the "Squnw’s Bed Chamber." Good luck would always follow newly married couples, if the squaw would crown her husband with wreaths of flowers and ferns, at sunset, in front of this cave, which is west of Stand Rock. This was so thut game would be plentiful throughout their lives. Those who ignored this practice. Dame Fortune would take vengeance,, in the form of making them victims of hunger, uccident and distress. The lower Dells are not so beautiful as the upper Dells, although they are interesting, and extend two or three miles beyond the Hydro Plant. They are broader than the upper Dells. The rocks have been cut away to a great extent leaving them hallowed and worn. The most fantastic are seen fur down the stream along the shores of the deserted village. Newport. The Dells of the Wisconsin River are noted for their natural benuty. The place should be preserved for future generations, through preservation as a State Park. Few other scenic points in Wisconsin, attract more tourists. It should he the hope of every loyal Wisconsinite, that at some future time, the Dell will become a nationally known beauty spot, such as Yellowstone Park and the Grand Canyon.

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