Artist’s rendition of Cahokia Mississippian settlement at Little Bluff, 1050 A.D. Illustration by Madeline Dahl.

Learn about the history of Little Bluff with virtual tour


Mississippi Valley Conservancy invites the public to learn about the history of Little Bluff before visiting the protected property in the Village of Trempealeau. Archaeologist Ernie Boszhardt will present an overview of the site and its archaeological significance during an online presentation via Zoom from 10 a.m. to 10:40 a.m. on Saturday, November 14. A question and answer session will follow the presentation. Participants are encouraged to visit Little Bluff after the presentation to appreciate it with an eye on the past as well as the future. Advance registration is required for this free online event at This event is part of the conservancy’s 2020 “Linked to the Land” series of outdoor and virtual experiences on the many nature preserves it protects for wildlife habitat, scenic beauty, education, and recreation in the Driftless Area.

Much of Little Bluff is privately owned by Mount Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church, and a portion is owned by the Village of Trempealeau. Both the church and the village welcome the public to walk up the bluffside stairway and trail to enjoy the view from the top – the same view that was appreciated, if not worshipped, by a Cahokia Mississippian community nearly a thousand years ago. In his presentation, Boszhardt will share highlights of his archaeological studies of Little Bluff and the surrounding land.

Beyond a local archaeology presentation for people to enjoy at home, the online event is intended to inspire people to get outdoors, get a bit of stress-relieving exercise, and safely explore the beautiful nature preserves that are permanently protected by Mississippi Valley Conservancy. The conservancy has been hosting online events in lieu of on-site gatherings to help ensure public health and safety since March 2020.

Registration is required for this free online event by November 11 on the “Events” page at A Zoom link will be sent to all registered participants in the week before the event. Those with questions may contact Sarah Bratnober at or call 608-784-3606, extension 8.


About Mississippi Valley Conservancy

Founded in 1997, Mississippi Valley Conservancy is a nationally accredited nonprofit regional land trust that has permanently protected 21,093 acres of scenic lands in Southwest Wisconsin by working with private landowners, businesses and local communities on voluntary conservation projects. The focus of the conservancy is to conserve the bluffs, forests, prairies, wetlands, streams and farms that enrich communities for the health and well-being of current and future generations. Learn more at


About the presenter

Robert “Ernie” Boszhardt is a Wisconsin archaeologist with over 40 years of experience. His research has focused on the unglaciated Driftless Area of Western Wisconsin where he has studied and written extensively about nearly all aspects of that region’s archaeological heritage, including Paleoindian, Hopewell, effigy mounds, Oneota, rock art, and most recently Middle Mississippian settlements. He currently is co-owner of Driftless Pathways LLC with his wife Danielle Benden. Together they direct the Trempealeau Archaeology Project. Boszhardt’s books on the Trempealeau research and regional rock art are available at


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