Iowa November 02, 2017
History Left A Definite Mark At This One Fascinating Spot In Iowa
This beautiful ancient area of Iowa is so remote it stretches into South Dakota. Blood Run is the awe-inspiring and vast site where Iowa, Oto-Missouria, Omaha, and Ponca Native Americans settled.
In the northwestern corner of Iowa, there's an enormous archaeological site called Blood Run.
The site is located on both sides of the Big Sioux River so it's actually in both Iowa and South Dakota. It's the former village of the Oneota Native American Tribe. Archaeological findings there indicate that this site was occupied by native people for at least 8,000 years. It was home to the Oneota between 1200 and 1750 AD.
The area, originally mapped by T.H. Lewis in 1889, includes 275 burial mounds and two effigy mounds. While many of the earth and stone features in the area were destroyed by gravel mining, farming, and looting, much of it remains.
South Dakota developed their portion of Blood Run into Good Earth State Park. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources would like to do the same.
Currently, you can take a self-guided walking tour of the mowed trails to see the ancient village sites and burial grounds up close.
You can access the area just one mile south of 1001 120th St., Larchwood, Iowa. The grounds are open sunrise to sunset. Admission is free. The Lyon County Conservation Board currently oversees maintenance of the area.
One of the farms included in the Blood Run site is the Martin Johnson homestead. His house still stands.
This photograph is from 1938.
The historical picnic structure at Gitchie Manitou is part of the revitalization plan for the Iowa side of the Blood Run area. The structure is currently in a state of disrepair.
Rebuilding the site using original materials so that it’s useful again is important to the project’s creators.
This bison herd lives near Blood Run at Broken Kettle Grassland Preserve. Plans are underway to establish a bison herd in the northeast corner of the Blood Run area on the Iowa side.
The presence of a bison herd would help to establish landscape conditions similar to the most historically significant time for the 800-acre area.
Have you seen the Iowa side of Blood Run?