Silver Mound—A Quarry Site
Silver Mound in Jackson County is a good example of a "quarry site" where people gathered the stones to make their tools. Although the name implies that it
contains silver, Silver Mound has no silver. It is a large natural hill made up of a very hard kind of cemented sandstone called quartzite that was excellent for making
stone tools. This stone was highly desired by ancient peoples. From the earliest days, people traveled to Silver Mound to collect the stone, and it has been used throughout
Wisconsin's prehistory. People traded or traveled for hundreds of miles to collect this stone. Points of this material have been found as far away as Kentucky. There are
quarry pits that were used for thousands of years that had to be dug several feet into the bedrock to obtain the best materials.
At Silver Mound, a rockshelter, or shallow cave, in the hillside was occupied for short periods of time over the last 10,000 years, probably by the people quarrying the stone.
Native Americans who came to the site also set up temporary villages in the fields around Silver Mound. The fields are covered with thousands of flakes from people making
stone tools. You can visit the site today, and walk through the woods to see the rockshelter and the ancient quarry pits.