Big Spring and White Clay Spring

by Charles E. Brown


"Big Spring. This is today the better of the two fine springs located in the Lake Forest woodland. It is connected with the lake by a little cress-grown stream flowing to the lake thorugh a small strip of Lake Wingra marsh. ...

White Clay Spring. This spring is situated in the woods a short distance east of the foregoing. It takes its name from the grey-white color of the surrounding mud. It also is connected with the lake by a cress-grown brook. ... The family groups of Winnebago who camped in the woods near this spring nearly every year up to 1910 spoke of this as a medicine spring and regarded its waters as most health-giving. Those of the Big Spring they considered "bad" and because of this superstition they never made use of them either for drinking or in cooking their food. Where the waters of the White Clay Spring emptied into the lake was a spot formerly resorted to by the Indians in the winter time for the catching of large turles for food."1


Commentary. "a medicine spring" — for an idea of what this entails, see Merrill Springs.


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Stories: mentioning springs: Trail Spring, Vita Spring, Merrill Springs,The Resurrection of the Chief's Daughter, Bear Clan Origin Myth, vv. 6, 8, Bird Clan Origin Myth, The Woman Who Fought the Bear, Bluehorn's Nephews, Blue Mounds, The Boy who was Blessed by a Mountain Lion, The Lost Child, Old Man and Wears White Feather, The Wild Rose, The Omahas who turned into Snakes, The Two Brothers, Snowshoe Strings, The Daughter-in-Law's Jealousy, Eats the Stinking Part of the Deer Ankle, How the Thunders Met the Nights, The Nannyberry Picker, The Orphan who was Blessed with a Horse, Rich Man, Boy, and Horse, The Two Boys, Waruǧápara, Wazųka, The Man Who Fell from the Sky, Turtle and the Witches; set at Lake Wingra: The Man Who Fell from the Sky, Trail Spring, The Mesquaki Magician.


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Notes

1 Charles E. Brown, "The Springs of Lake Wingra," Wisconsin Magazine of History, 10, #3 (March, 1927) 298-303 [301].