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Fort Dodge Native Molly Nelson is

Spokesperson for our 2018 Campaign


This narrow ravine running between rock walls was given its name "boneyard hollow" by early settlers who found large amounts of buffalo bones in the canyon. It is possible the area's first inhabitants drove herds of buffalo from the prairie over the cliff to their death or perhaps drove the herds into the narrow ravine and then killed & butchered them for their meat, hides, horns & bone.

In 1912, a family picnicking in the area of the creek that runs through Boneyard Hollow found a lead tablet at the mouth of the creek. Inscribed in Latin, it stated that it was deposited in 1701 by Father Hennepin, a French explorer, often credited with discovering the Des Moines River. The tablet was eventually found to be a hoax, planted by people from the nearby community. However, Edgar Harlan, then curator of the state archives, went to the site where the tablet was found. His interest in the beauty of the area helped spark the state's interest in eventually purchasing the park.

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