History

Elk Mound, located between Menomonie and Eau Claire, is a village of 879 with an acclaimed school system and a growing population. The Village is 12 miles east of Menomonie and 2 miles from I-94.

Elk Mound Hill, one of the highest spots in Dunn County, towers over the town. Historians believe the Sioux and Chippewa Indians used it as a lookout. Today, a two-story lookout tower offers panoramic views of prairies and hills. The tower was built as a memorial to Dunn County's deceased rural mail carriers, and is believed to be the only such memorial in the nation.

Mound Hill Park
The contractor who built the new Highway 12 in 1924, Paul Kreck, erected a flagpole on the mound in 1926.

Earl Hansen and Leon Cartwright, owners of farms north of the hill, built the first dirt road up the hill sometime after 1924. The hill and park area was deeded to the Village and County by Louis and Marie Nelson in 1933.

In 1934, rural letter carriers of Dunn County planted a tree on the top of the mound, and placed a plaque dedicated to the "deceased rural letter carriers of Dunn County." Soil taken from every carrier's route was placed around the tree.

On June 8, 1937, the Dunn County Board voted to accept the park and three acres surrounding it as a county park.

In 1937, the county, with Works Progress Administration aid, constructed an observation tower (the castle) about 25 feet in height. The stones came from the Downsville stone quarry, with additional stones and material from a dismantled livery stable in the Village.

A dedication ceremony was held Friday, November 11, 1938 and a roll call of deceased Dunn County letter carriers was sealed in a granite marker.

The county turned the park back to the Village of Elk Mound, and they closed it in 1987 because of liability problems with the steep road. After the park was closed in 1987, seniors at Elk Mound High School worked for six years to improve the park as part of their community service projects. A newly paved roadway, new guard rails and an “old-fashioned” cleaning preceded a reopening ceremony held at Mound Hill in 1994.

With community support and numerous donations, a new flag pole was erected on November 11th, 2002 and lighting added on November 11th, 2003.

History Book Available: Marvin and Charlotte Cartwright, lifetime residents of the Elk Mound area, have written a book on the history of the Village.  Copies are available for sale at the Village Hall.