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Filtering by Tag: norton-mounds

Norton Mounds - Indian mounds in Michigan

Andrew Norton

I grabbed Pictorial History of Michigan: The Early Years at the library the other day just for something to flip through. In addition to the hundreds of great old photos from all across Michigan there is a bit of history about Indian mounds in Michigan. I knew about various Indian mounds throughout the midwest due to a course I took at WMU called Indians and Eskimos. I knew about the Cahokia Mounds and had visited the Indian mounds at Mounds State Park near Anderson, Indiana. I somehow was able to slip through life and my personal study of Michigan history without knowing about any Indian mounds here in Michigan.

Norton Indian Mounds near Grand Rapids. Michigan
Picture via 'Pictorial History of Michigan: The Early Years' which was originally credited to the Grand Rapids Press

Anyway, these mounds belong to the Hopewell culture. The Hopewell culture predates other Indian tribes we know such as the Ottawa as well as European settlers. We're talking about 2,000 years ago to be a bit more specific. Of the 30 original mounds only a handful exist in their original form.

According to -

The Norton Mounds site [is] the only National Historic Landmark in Michigan devoted solely to Native American culture.

It appears that the Millennium Park project is supposed to encompass the Norton Mounds area. The Norton Mounds are currently under the auspices of the Public Museum of Grand Rapids.

According to the Millennium Park website -

Public access is currently not available to the Indian Mounds. The Norton Mounds Advisory Council is investigating possible alternatives to interpret this sacred area.

Hmm, so much for planning a road trip.

More on this subject:

Find more on the Norton Mounds at

Read what The Mitten a Michigan History Magazine publication for kids had to say back in September of 2003 in this four-page PDF archive -

Detroit News article from their archives

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