Sheboygan Indian Mounds Park
(Kletzien Group or Black River Group #2)
National Register of Historic Places

  Situated near Hartman Creek, the Kletzien Mound Group is one of the best-preserved and longest-known in the state (the park was open
to public in 1966). It has well-developed trails and abundant signage and interpretive material. Even though the group is surrounded on
all sides by private homeowners' backyards, one can experience solitude and reflection in the deep shade of the park's canopy. This
park is often compared to the Lizard Mound County Park further west. The most unique feature of this park, though, apart from the
highest number of deer effigies ever found in one group, is an exhibit of an open mound with a burial inside. I think the open mound
display is important to illustrate that many mounds are burial sites and should be treated as such - with respect, not like cute animal-shaped hills for kids to play on or people to dig into looking for artifacts (this practice was common weekend pastime in the early 20th century).

  Originally, the group used to have 33 mounds (34 by some accounts), mostly panthers and deer effigies, but also few conicals and
1 panther intaglio. Today, 18 mounds are supposedly extant in the park, according to historical marker. But I only counted 14 (they're
all well marked) in the main group and only spotted 2 conical mounds instead of 3 in the small side group. Also, it's not clear if an open
mound display and oval mound #14 are the same thing - it seems that way, but on the historical marker open mound is referred to as #19, further complicating the matter. On the other hand, park brochure mentions that of 18 remaining mounds 16 were restored (majority were excavated by the Milwaukee Public Museum in 1927) - that's exactly how many I observed.

  The mounds seem well taken care of, and the grass on some of them looked like it's been trimmed, rather than mowed. Some mounds
are covered with moss, like in the Lizard Mound County Park. Some mounds are cause for a concern, however - the vegetation cover
on them all but non-existent, with signs of damage by heavy rains and other elements. Also, majority of the mounds have large trees
growing on them. Currently at the end of their life-span, these trees will eventually collapse in the storm and damage the fabric of
the mounds; they should be removed before it's too late.