Whitewater is home to multiple historical attractions that are sure to SPARK YOUR CURIOSITY and get you moving in this nice spring weather!

These mounds are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and ONE OF THE LARGEST collections of effigy mounds in the United States.


Photo Credit: Abrielle Backhaus

Located on the west side of Indian Mound Parkway are the historical Whitewater Effigy Mounds made by a tribe of Potawatomi Native Americans that resided in Whitewater before European expansion! To the Potawatomi, Whitewater was called Wau-be-gan-naw-po-cat, receiving its name from the white sand that resided on the bottom of what is now Whitewater Creek. These effigy mounds are made using two unique styles. One style is by forming geometrical shapes while the other is made to represent various animals, birds and even humans, and are often used as burial sites for their ancestors. Effigy mounds are usually built near a water source such as a lake, stream or pond. The Whitewater Effigy Mounds once had a small stream flowing through the western field and still has various springs scattered in the northern part. These mounds are thought to be made during the Late Woodland Stage by the Potawatomi Native Americans, between 700 A.D. and 1200 A.D.


Photo Credit: Abrielle Backhaus

Lucky for you that another Whitewater treasure is placed right next to the mounds and after you’re done relishing in the artistic work of the Potawatomi mound builders take a stroll through the Oak Savanna! The Oak Savanna holds the last remnants of the tall oak trees that populated the area. The label “savanna” describes an area with widely spaced tall trees, but so widely spaced out that wild grasses and other native foliage can dominate and flourish within the area. Prior to European settlers, natives would burn down prairies and other grasslands to make for easy expansion for building locations. These grasslands and oak savannas are flat and require very little work to become prime building locations. Other reasons behind burning these areas would be for the catching of game hiding within them, and many often ignited due to lighting strikes.  Today oak savannas are one of the rarest plant communities within Wisconsin and a natural beauty for anyone getting the pleasure of hiking through it.

So grab your hiking shoes, pick up some historical information at the Discover Whitewater office, and HEAD OUT to see these historical sites in Whitewater!DSCN0019(2)

 Photo Credit: Abrielle Backhaus

For more information check out the Whitewater Historical Society: