Ho-nee-um trail in the fall
Kline, Virginia; Brown, Charles E.
[Indian legends and stories about Ho-nee-um Pond], pp. 2-6
WINNEBAGO INDIANS OF THE FOUR LAKES AREA Written by Virginia Kline, Arboretum guide and naturalist Memories of their mound building ancestors had been lost by the Winnebago Indians by the time the first white settlers arrived in the rich four lakes area. For centuries the tribes had lived on the shores of the lakes enjoying the varied hunting and fishing opportunities and the pure water supply. Prairie fires aided their hunting in the open area; fish abounded in the lakes; forests near the lakes gave shelter to woodland animals. Early settlers estimated that several hundred Indians lived in villages along the lakes, their wigwams often within sight of the new log cabins. Children of those first white families had Indian boys and girls as playmates. Among the villages were a large one located where Tenney Park is now and one at the foot of present-day King Street. The hill leading up from there to the Capitol was described as a smooth prairie crossed by Indian trails and dotted with a few oaks. In the Nakoma area were three Indian camps, each located near a good spring: (1) On what is now the front lawn of Dudgeon School and the land across Monroe Street from it; (2) Near the old Spring Grove Tavern; (3) On the present Nakoma Golf Course. These villages were used as summer villages, with the tribe moving northward for winter hunting. The Winnebagos are related to the Sioux and are among Wisconsin's woodland Indians. Since the number of Indians was small in relation to the land they used, they could live off the natural environment in a way which would be impossible for a city the size of Madison today. Turtles, ducks, muskrats, rabbits, fox, deer, fish were plentiful. Indian boys became expert with bows and arrows by the time they were the age of the present-day sixth graders. Survival depended on skillful hunting and trapping. The women and girls gathered wild rice (plentiful on Lake Wingra in those days), nuts and acorns, mushrooms, 2
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