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Histories:  Trempealeau Co. Historical Accounts:

"History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917":

Chapter 6:

Cass, Schoolcraft, Doty

-As transcribed from pages 60 - 61

General Lewis Cass, with his party, including Henry Rowe Schoolcraft and James D. Doty, passed Trempealeau Mountain in 1820. They reached the upper Mississippi by way of Lake Superior, and after leaving the region of their explorations came down the Mississippi. On this trip down the river, Cass and Schoolcraft and their men landed at the present site of Winona and camped for the night on the Minnesota bank of the Mississippi, some five miles west of Trempealeau Mountain. Schoolcraft, in his notes, gave the following description of Trempealeau Mountain:

"A few miles below Wabasha's village an isolated mountain of singular appearance rises out of the center of the river to a height of four or five hundred feet, where it terminates in crumbling peaks Of naked rock, whose tines of stratification and massy walls impress forcibly upon the mind the image of some gigantic battlement of fOrmer generations. Around its lower extremity the alluvion of the river has collected, forming a large island, covered with a heavy forest, whose deep green foliage forms a pleasing contrast with the barren grandeur of the impending rocks, which project their gothic pinnacles into the clouds and cast a sombre shadow over the broad and glittering bosom of the Mississippi. This singular feature in the topography of the country has long attracted the admiration and the wonder of the voyageurs of the Mississippi, who have bestowed upon it the appellation of The Mountain that sinks in the Water (La Montaigne qui Trompe dans l'Eau), an opinion being prevalent among them that it annually sinks a few feet. This island-mountain is four or five miles in circumference, with a mean width of half a mile, and by dividing the channel of the river into two equal halves, gives an immense width to the river, and thus increases the grandeur of the prospect. It is further remarkable as being the only fast, or rocky island, in the whole course of this river, from the Falls of Peckagama, to the Mexican Gulf."43

Resources for the above information:

43 - H. R. Schoolcraft, Narrative Journal of Travels (Albany, 1821), 334-335. Also: Same author and title (Philadelphia, 1855), 165.


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