Correcting the Record: Removing The Fritse Park Historical Marker with Professor Jeffery A Behm

Monday, May 18, 2015 - 6:30pm

Jeffery A. Behm, Department of Religious Studies and Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, will present a program titled: 

Correcting the Record: Removing The Fritse Park Historical Marker. 

The official State of Wisconsin Historic Marker in Fritse Park, on the west shore of Little Lake Butte des Morts, was recently removed.  This marker described a 1730 French and Menominee attack on a Meskwaki (Fox Indian) village on that shore and the resulting massacre of the Meskwaki.The numerous Meskwaki allegedly killed in this attack were supposedly buried in a large earthen burial mound that once stood on the west shore of the lake. Despite the very limited and highly ethnohistoric records and the absence of any primary accounts, the frequent retelling of various versions of this story by many local, regional, and national historians had solidly cemented it in the popular consciousness. There is no archaeological  support for this legendary event.The mound was prehistoric in origin and likely dated between 2500 and 2000 years ago. A fair assessment of the ethnohistoric information combined with the insights of the fairly extensive archaeological record of the Meskwaki in east-central Wisconsin has demonstrated the undeniable falsehood of this legend. After a campaign to remove this flawed marker that dates back to early 1990, it was finally removed in March 2015.

This program is free and open to the public and begins at 6:30pm in the Oshkosh Public Library lower level meeting rooms.

Sponsored by the Winnebago County Historical and Archaeological Society


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