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Dickson Mounds Museum, Lewistown

(35+ reviews on the web)
Ruin
Dickson Mounds is a Native American settlement site and burial mound complex near Lewistown, Illinois. It is located in Fulton County on a low bluff overlooking the Illinois River. It is a large burial complex containing at least two cemeteries, ten superimposed burial mounds, and a platform mound. The Dickson Mounds site was founded by 800 CE and was in use until after 1250 CE. The site is named in honor of chiropractor Don Dickson, who began excavating it in 1927 and opened a private museum that formerly operated on the site.Don Dickson was a chiropractor and discovered the burial mounds on his family farm. Instead of removing the bones, he only removed the dirt. He covered his excavation with a tent. He later replaced his tent with a building and set up a private museum.The Dickson Mounds Museum is a museum erected on the site in 1972 by the U.S. state of Illinois; it describes the life cycles and culture of Native Americans living in the Illinois River valley over a period of 12,000 years since the last Ice Age. The museum is part of the Illinois State Museum system.Native life siteWhile the members of most hunter-gatherer cultures travel extensively or even practice a nomadic lifestyle, the exceptional productivity of the Illinois River valley in fish, shellfish and game made it possible for semi-permanent settlements to develop. Archaeological examination of these sites have generated significant insights into the living conditions of Native Americans over time and the levels of technology they possessed.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Great place to learn about the ancient Native Americans who lived in Southern Illinois 1,000+ years ago. Great story-telling exhibits and fascinating artifacts, plus a spiritual tribute to those who w...  more »
  • The Dickson Mounds Museum was erected in 1972 on the site of Dickson Mounds, a Native American settlement and burial ground complex near Lewistown, Illinois. Located on a low bluff overlooking the Ill...  more »
  • This place is great for kids and adults alike. Free admission and easy parking and picnic areas. If you are interested in Native Americans, check out this museum. If you have kids, they will love the ...  more »
Google
  • Hasn't changed much since we visited last year but my kids still love it. Takes us about 30 minutes to walk the museum and then we spend 1-2 hours in the play room! Great free resource for local families and worth the drive for visitors too. It's unfortunate that they don't have a gift shop or cafe but there is a space to eat inside and very clean bathrooms too.
  • Dickson Mounds what a wonderful place. So much history here. No one will ever know the full story, we can only speculate. This museum is top notch from other native american museums I have visited across the United States. Although the grounds etc are bit run down its a blessing to anyone who visits. Heck seems like everywhere one travels these days there is a lost interest in such history. I would rate this at 5 stars, its free, well put together, and many authentic pieces which you do not see in many of the museums across the usa. I highly recommend this experience for families and youth. Museum is right up there with the famed Cahokia Mounds, in my personal opinion I think it's even better 😊
  • Almost give a 4 star. They have a decent amount of artifacts.
  • In Illinois there are only so many interesting places that people of all ages can enjoy either near cities or parks but in our case Dickson Mounds is something truly unique, imagine looking out at miles of mid-western land ans all you see are the rows of crops and a few plots of forest and then imagine going through all of what Dickson offers and then getting to the top viewing deck and looking through the telescope with an entire different view, so if you're just passing by or on the road and you happen to see a sign pointing you towards Dickson Mounds I promise you wont be disappointed.
  • This place is awesome! Does anyone think this place is mysterious?