The Wickiup Hill Natural Area, managed by Linn County Conservation, contains six sites that have been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The area is part of a 751-acre site northwest of Cedar Rapids within the Cedar River Greenbelt. The Linn County Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) submitted the nomination.
All of the sites at Wickiup Hill tell a story that is unique to the people who lived here at some point and time. Past archeological studies here have resulted in evidence of the Middle Woodland Cultures (200 BC – AD 300), as well as more recent Native American cultures. The Oneota, Ioway, and Meskwaki people congregated in the area primarily during the winter months, due in part for the springs that continued to flow year round.
These sites that are now recognized on a federal level provide a physical link to the past and help build respect for the relationship between people and places today. The designation additionally brings more awareness of the site's value as an archaeological resource. Linn County Historic Preservation Commission Chair Maura Pilcher says this project is part of a larger initiative by the commission. "In 1991, the HPC initiated a historic survey of all unincorporated Linn County, resulting in an extensive inventory. Our next step was to nominate rural commercial districts, archeological sites, and farmsteads that are eligible for National Register listing.” Wickiup Hill is the first archeological site that the Commission has listed as part of this project.
More than 95,000 properties across the country, including nearly 2,000 sites in Iowa are listed in the National Register. Authorized in 1966, the National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.
The historic survey, National Register nominations, and an interactive map are all available on the Linn County Historic Preservation Commission’s webpage.