Cahokia Mounds in Fairmont City attracts a diverse group of history buffs, who are visiting one of North America’s most important historic sites, and fitness enthusiasts, who enjoy the cardiovascular challenge of the steep steps that climb to the top of Monks Mound. That is the largest of the native earthworks in the Illinois state historic site.
If these stair-steppers would step a short way down the mown path that leads east from the parking lot next to the big mound, they could see history in the making – or in the rediscovering.
Rising 100 feet above the ground, Monks Mound is the tallest of the 80 or so mounds remaining at the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Illinois. Around 900 years ago, it was a carefully maintained earthen pyramid, supporting a large wooden temple.
Cahokia Mounds near Collinsville, contains mounds constructed by an ancient Mississippian people. Recent archeological discoveries made as a result of construction of the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge have highlighted the people who used to inhabit the area.
A group is now trying to bolster recognition of Cahokia and the rest of the mounds by gaining some type of national designation through the National Park Service.