Just south of Dubuque, IA lies Mines of Spain State Recreation Area. This land was mined for lead for centuries, first by the Mesquakie tribe, then by European settlers – most notably French Canadian fur-trader Julien Dubuque. Under Spanish rule he established a settlement (now his namesake city) and continued mining and trading in the area. Mining ceased in 1914 and the 1380-acre park was designated a State Recreation Area in 1981. It offers both hiking and cross-country skiing trails, wildlife watching opportunities, and great views of the Mississippi. The park also features the Julien Dubuque Monument: having married Mesquakie Indian Chief Peosta’s daughter Potosa, Dubuque was buried here with tribal honors in 1810.
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