Indian Mounds Park (Regional)
About Indian Mounds Park
The Mounds of Saint Paul contain six burial mounds atop the bluff, a reminder of Minnesota's history for future generations. At least 16 burial mounds originally sat on the high bluff. Nineteen more were located further down the bluff above Carver's Cave (now at the end of Cherry Street). Most in Indian Mounds Park were destroyed. It is clear that these mounds were added to by many later cultures over the centuries.
However, it is generally thought to be that the Hopewell findings created the original mounds, some dating to the beginning of the Christian era, or over 2,000 years. In the mid-1800s, several scientists with an interest in Minnesota's prehistory -- Edward Duffield Neill in 1856, and later the Minnesota Historical Society under the leadership of Colonel DA Robertson excavated the remaining mounds. T.H. Lewis, however, contributed most of the information on his later series of excavations.
Several types of burials were found in both Mounds Park and Dayton's Bluff. Most common were simple internments frequently accompanied by mussel shells and occasionally a projectile point. Small bundle burials were found in the upper parts of several mounds -- these were placed there by later peoples. Log tombs were found at the base of at least 3 mounds. A pit burial was found in one mound. In two of the Indian mounds were 8 stone cists about 7 inches high and made of thin limestone slabs set upright. Human bones were found in each cist and were accompanied by grave offerings, including shells, perforated bear teeth, copper ornaments, and a piece of hammered sheet copper, as well as the usual number of projectile points.
Among the more startling discoveries was a skull covered with red clay producing the image of the original face. Nothing similar to this "death mask" had ever been found by archaeologists in mounds or ancient graves. The mask was removed intact during that excavation. The log tombs, hammered sheet copper and especially the clay death mask belong to the Hopewellian period.
Master Plan Approved
Natural Resource Management Plan
Indian Mounds 1957 Handout
Indian Mounds Archeological Info
Please Respect The Mounds
Few citizens of Saint Paul realize this great treasure of the past they possess in Indian Mounds Park, remnants of one of mankind's earliest organized civilizations, a civilization that prospered while there were still pharaohs in Egypt and great dynasties in China. So please respect these burial mounds, sacred for over 2,000 years, to the first people of Minnesota. They are the graves of their ancestors, not observation decks or playgrounds. - Kay Woitas
PARK RESERVATION INFORMATION
Large Shelter seats approximately 80 people. Electricity is available at a 110 volts. Multiple crock pots, coffee pots, roasters and other electric items may cause overloads on the power source.
Small Shelter seats approximately 30 people. Electricity is available at a 110 volts. Multiple crock pots, coffee pots, roasters and other electric items may cause overloads on the power source.
Also available are the following: drinking fountains, 1 restroom building, paved trails, 1 tot lot, 1 ball field, 2 tennis courts, scenic overlook, burial mounds and barbecue grills which are located around the site.
**Please note that during the 2014 picnic season the Tot Lot at Mounds will be under construction.**
Note: The possession or consumption of alcohol is prohibited in this park.
Indian Mounds Map
Indian Mounds Park Photo Gallery
Picnic Reservation Rates
Large Picnic Shelter Calendar
Small Picnic Shelter Calendar
Please call the Park Permit Office at 651-632-5111 for more information or to make a reservation. Office hours are 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.