End-of-decade holiday blowout quiz


The year’s final quiz is open-book and open-Internet. If you’re not sure, give your best guess—who can pass up a chance at this prize? The winner gets either two lively hours in the field with Gordon and Jeff (hot chocolate provided), or Bob Birmingham’s Spirits of Earth, a book about Madison’s effigy mounds due out in December. Terrence the Unseen Madison cat breaks ties. Send answers via e-mail (jeff@unseenmadison.com or gordon@unseenmadison.com) or comment.

1. In 1855, the Yahara chain of lakes got a new set of names: Kegonsa, Waubesa, Monona, and Mendota replaced First, Second, Third, and Fourth lakes (numbered in the order they’d been surveyed). Where did the new names come from?

a. what the Ho-Chunk called the lakes

b. what the Sauk and Fox called the lakes

c. what the Ojibwe called the lakes

d. what Madison officials called them after consulting faulty vocabulary lists to find attractive Indian names

2. Which tree species dominated the Four Lakes area as noted in the 1834 public land survey?

3. How many trees older than the 1776 Declaration of Independence still stand in Madison?

a. only one (PDF)

b. about 50

c. about 150

d. about 250

4. What landscape feature on the east side of the isthmus caused Madison’s factory area to develop there?

5. How did the maple forest east of Lake Mendota (which gave Maple Bluff its name) survive in a savanna landscape that Native people burned regularly, since maple isn’t fire-resistant?

3 Responses to “End-of-decade holiday blowout quiz”

  1. agrisktautt Says:

    Wow, I didn’t heard about that until now. Thx!!

  2. Mirna Says:

    I learned something new today. I will add that book to my collection! Thanks

  3. Scott Maurer Says:

    I grew up on my parents farm adjacent to the Wingra gravel pits on HWY PD and Shady Oak road. It was great to learn more about the mounds and see the old map. I spent a good portion of my youth exploring the huge variety of rocks that have been exposed in the pits. With Epic rising over the horizon, the landscape keeps changing all the time. Keep up the good work. cheers

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