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Finds Skeleton of Giant
July 19, 1906

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by Chad Lewis

Finds Skeleton of Giant
Well Preserved Implements Are Dug Up in the City of Trempealeau
Eau Claire Leader |July 19, 1906

Trempealeau- Excavators removing soil for a new sidewalk a half block south of Main Street uncovered the of what is believed to have been a mound builder, also some well-preserved stone implements, weapons, pottery and an oven, presumably of prehistoric origin. Earnest Bright made the discovery. He saw part of a skull protruding from the damp earth and after digging a few feet below the surface the spinal column and other bones were found. Trempealeau citizens say the bones are either those of an Indian of unusual size or of a mound builder, which archaeological researchers have proved lived in the vicinity of Trempealeau. The latter theory is more generally accepted, because of the array of stone implements found with the bones. A clay oven was found imbedded in the dirt. Many dishes of a brackish cast and made of a peculiar stone were also found.


Chad’s Take: Giants Roaming Wisconsin?

Before I tackle the immense size of the bones discovered in Trempealeau I wanted to touch on the bigger picture of where exactly the remains were excavated from. The article claimed that among the bones was a “stone implement, weapons, pottery, and an oven.” With the various clues pointing to a Native gravesite, Mr. Bright most likely stumbled onto an effigy mound, which are Native American burial mounds often constructed into the shape of an animal. Most researchers believe that these mysterious mounds are sacred sites and need to be protected. Archeologists estimate that at one time Wisconsin was home to approximately 20,000 effigy mounds. Sadly, however, due to development, construction, and agriculture, less than 4,000 of them still remain today.

Okay, now for the strange portion of the article, the giant size of the bones that were unearthed. Although the paper never list the exact measurements of the bones, we can assume based on their description of “unusual size” and other similar discoveries in Wisconsin that the remains were outside of the average height of an American male, which in 1906 was 5 feet 6 inches. In 1899, researchers discovered unknown remains near Fond du Lac, WI that measured well over 7 feet. In his book, Giants in the Land: Folktales and Legends of Wisconsin, folklorist Dennis Boyer documented dozens of similar finds and stories of abnormally large “humans” lurking around Wisconsin. For me, the salient lesson learned from this article is that when you go digging around, you never know what weirdness you might uncover.

Keep an eye out…

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