Dec 21, 2022 by


MUSCODA…..Frank Shadewald, founder of the Three Eagles Foundation and former owner of the property known as “Frank’s Hill” in southern Richland County, was remembered by the organization that seeks to continue his vision for the site on the date of what would have been his 90th birthday, December 12th.  The group’s President, David O. Martin, said, “We remember Frank Shadewald on this day for his foresight in establishing the Three Eagles Foundation and donating the land and a modest endowment to enable us to carry forward the work he started to preserve the sacred ground where the effigy mounds and calendar mounds built over one thousand years by Native American people now stand and persevere.” 

            Shadewald died suddenly in November of 2013.  He purchased the 120 acres near the intersection of STH 60 and STH 193 in the Town of Eagle, Richland County, from the Elder family, a few years after selling his home farm to the Ho-Chunk Nation in 1994.  One reason the Ho-Chunk Nation purchased the Shadewald farm was because the remnants of a large effigy mound group, known as McClary Mound Group #4, contained 16 mounds on the terrace overlooking the Wisconsin River.  The original group included 64 mounds with numerous bird effigies represented. Shadewald became close friends with many members of the Ho-Chunk Nation and traveled extensively throughout the Western Hemisphere, particularly Central and South America, learning about indigenous people and their cultures in the times before European contact.

            Mark Cupp is Vice-President of the foundation.  Cupp said, “The Board of Directors is committed to careful stewardship of the mounds at Frank’s Hill and providing education so that people recognize the significance of the effigy mound building culture and especially the mounds of the Muscoda area.  The tours we provide at solstice and equinox events are one example of our outreach to the public in this regard.”


            Recently, the Three Eagles Foundation installed new signage at the property and established a looped walking trail on Hill East, the site of the effigy mound group.  Future plans include additional trail development across the road on the west side of Hwy. 193 where the calendar mounds are located.  The new signage includes directional trail markers and arrows pointing the way to the mound group.  The trail will not be maintained during the winter months but will be open for public use.

            Brian McGraw, the group’s Secretary/Treasurer, leads efforts to restore the native plant community at the site.  McGraw said, “We have been working with our partners to re-establish the native prairie plant community in the uplands at Hill East and Hill West and have more work to do but the results thus far have been encouraging.  The prairie in bloom this year was stunning so we will continue to work on brush removal and control of invasive species as well as new seeding of native prairie plants.”

            Frank’s Hill is open to the public all year except for the gun deer season for safety reasons.  The next public event will be on December 21st in conjunction with the winter solstice.  More information may be found at the Three Eagles Foundation website or Facebook page.

A new sign welcomes visitors to Frank’s Hill, an effigy mound site in southern Richland County, located on STH 193 near the intersection with STH 60 a few miles west of Muscoda.
Frank Shadewald was the founder of the Three Eagles Foundation. Shadewald passed away unexpectedly in 2013 but his vision for the site continues. A sign at the bottom of Hill East describes the mounds and gives background on Frank. The directional signs point the way to the mounds and a new looped nature trail.
The members of the Three Eagles Foundation Board of Directors (left to right): Mark Cupp (Vice President), David Martin (President), Brian McGraw (Secretary/Treasurer), Frank Doerre (Prairie Restoration Specialist/Advisor)

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