Wakanda Park, Museum & Indian Mounds

Indian mound in Wakanda Park

For my University Honors Program orientation I went to the Wakanda Water Park, Museum and Elk Walk. The museum has numerous exhibits about the Menomonie area and its past. There were exhibits and displays from the Native Americans to the early days of Menomonie. Next to the museum is an elk and buffalo walk. This is an area to walk around and look at a few elk and buffalo. On the way down to the only three burial mounds left there is a water park to cool off from the heat. We walked down to the mounds and learned why the others had been destroyed. They were destroyed when the dam was raised and the lake flooded the low lands where the mounds were positioned. That was the end of our tour and we then came back to recap our tours.

Brettain J.

The City as Text was an interesting experience. Our group went to the Dunn County Museum, which as we found out, is the largest museum between Minneapolis, MN and Madison, WI. It was neat because it included everything from primal stone weapons up to shiny automobiles of the 50’s. This museum is also supposedly haunted, which made the tour more interesting. We also had the chance to see three Indian mounds. We learned that there used to be at least 20 in the area, but 17 where wiped out when the water rose. There are actually some cute little camping spots that we learned about as well.

Ashley J

On our trip we visited a museum, an animal park, and three Indian burial mounds. The museum was quite interesting. It provided a unique view into the history of the area by separating the facts from some common rumors. The animal park provided a highlight by revealing Charlie the elk close to the fence and posing for pictures. Finally, we took a short walk to the site of three Indian burial mounds. We were informed of the actual history of the remains, and discovered that the plaque signifying the resting place actually bore false evidence. All the places we visited were interesting, but one of the most intriguing aspects of our trip was our guide, Dr. Kennett. He provided detailed knowledge of the UW-Stout campus, and some of its more interesting stories. Few other people know of Stout’s underground tunnel! The trip provided insight and an overall good time.

John K.

For the “City as Text” Honors Program orientation, my group visited the Dunn County Historical Museum. It is the biggest museum located between Madison, WI and St. Paul, MN. There were many interesting things in the museum including Indian darts, old photographs, and other historical artifacts from Menomonie. We then saw three different Indian mounds that are still intact. Many have been destroyed, but today they are recognized as important religious and cultural monuments. We also visited Lake Menomin, which is full of algae, due to high phosphate levels from runoff. The experience as a whole was very informational and it helped our group have a better understanding of Menomonie.

Amanda J.

The “City as Text” trip was incredibly enlightening for me. It was great to be able to see the hidden treasures that Menomonie has here in Dunn County. I was a part of the fourth group, and we ventured to Wakanda Park. The park was wonderful and its beauty was accented by the gorgeous weather. We started our adventure at the museum where there were many historic relics to observe and appreciate. There are artifacts in that museum that date back to 10,000 B.C! It was amazing to see things of that age flawlessly preserved. Wakanda Park also has a wildlife preserve where elk and buffalo are kept. Curiously, we ventured over to see them in action. Eventually we made our way to the Indian Mounds. There are three in Wakanda Park, but there used to be more before they were torn apart. The trip was personally a great experience!

Taylor J.

For my group’s excursion we visited the Wakanda Water Park, Museum and Elk Walk. The museum took a look at Dunn County dating back to the Ice Age all the way through present day. It included arrow heads found in the area and an impressive list of well-known citizens of the area. Outside of the museum is an old one room school house that the local elementary school still utilizes for classes. Behind the museum is a small game park which features elk and bison. Down the road is the park that includes picnic shelters, playground equipment and Frisbee golf. Many families were out at the park enjoying the beautiful weather. The most interesting part of the park is the ancient Indian burial mounds, three oval effigy mounds.

-Kate H.

As part of City as Text, group four and I traveled to Wakanda Park, where we visited the Historical Society Museum, the Menomonie water park, and the nature trail. In the museum we learned of the history of Menomonie, dating back all the way to 10,000 B.C. The artifacts seen and the knowledge gained there created an appreciation for the nature trail, which unfortunately now features only two (possibly 3) of the sacred Native American mounds (and by sacred, I mean you’re free to walk around on them). The water park (necessary only because of the large amounts of phosphate that makes the Red Cedar River unsafe to swim in) and the destruction of the mounds which ruin what could have been a great natural site for Menomonie make me reflect on the root of all the problems: white people. Good going. (Ian and Wang, you guys are still cool).

Jacob H.

I thought the day was pretty interesting. We first went to the Menomonie Historical Society. We learned about the area and its history. We then went to visit the elks and buffalo. That was really cool! Then we made our way over to look at the Indian mounds and the lake. Overall I thought the day was very interesting and I learned a lot.

Xanath Guzman


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