MUSCODA - The public is invited to Frank’s Hill in southern Richland County on Saturday, December 21, when the setting sun on the shortest of day of the year will be viewed from a small knoll peppered with effigy mounds in southern Richland County. The property is located on Highway 193 just off Highway 60 a few miles west of Muscoda and has been the site of many solstice and equinox gatherings in the past.
Weather permitting, area residents are invited to join the festivities and remember events of the past year. A moment of silence will be observed for those who have passed away since the last trip around the sun. Following the sunset, attendees are welcome to gather around the campfire to share stories and learn more about Frank’s Hill. The event is sponsored by the Three Eagles Foundation.
Frank’s Hill is on the National Register of Historic Places. A group of unique effigy mounds is situated on the East Ridge where the event will occur, which looks across to the west ridge where a line of small mounds, believed to be calendar mounds, is situated. The site offers a panoramic vista of the area which once contained the highest concentration of bird effigy mounds found anywhere in the world, including the remnants of the giant Ghost Eagle mound with a wingspan of over one-quarter-mile. The Ghost Eagle mound factors into the alignment with the setting sun on the winter solstice. Most archeologists agree the mounds were built a thousand or more years ago.
Participants should arrive by 4 p.m. to allow for time to hike to the top of the hill. Dress warmly and bring food, drink and a chair for sitting around the fire.
Directions to Frank’s Hill are as follows; from the north end of the Muscoda bridge at the intersection of Highways 80 and 60, drive west on 60 for two miles and turn north onto Highway 193. Park by the first gate on the east side of the road, a short distance from 60, and walk to the top of the hill.To learn more about the solstice event or for directions, contact Dave Martin at 608-739-4198 or Mark Cupp at 608-739-2179. Additional information may be found at the Three Eagles Foundation website or Facebook page.