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This preserve is the site of a prehistoric Native American ceremonial ground. Five conical burial mounds and one linear ceremonial mound lie on the heavily timbered bluff overlooking the Des Moines and Skillet Creek valleys. The mounds were built 2,000 to 1,500 years ago by an extinct culture called the Woodland Indians. Found in the bottomland of the area is the old mining town of Hard Scrabble.

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