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"Turkey Foot"

Location:

Finchford
Two miles east of town off Janesville Road

In 1805, Lt. Zebulon Pike, searching the area for fort sites, saw a triple fork in the Red Cedar River that has come to be called "The Turkey's Foot." It is the confluence of the West Fork of the Cedar, the Shell Rock, and the Cedar Rivers. Local Native Americans named it for its resemblance to the footprint of the wild turkey, which still populate the area. A high clearing between the Shell Rock and the (then) Red Cedar River was used by the Sac, Fox, Winnebago and Pottawattamie for councils and campgrounds at various times. Nathan Boone, son of Daniel Boone, also explored the area, camping for four days at the Turkey Foot.

After two trips to the area, James Newell brought his family there in the spring of 1849. Newell's friendly relations with local tribes camping there did much to help smooth the way for other settlers. The James Newell homestead (1846) was located on the east bank of the Shell Rock near the junction with the Cedar.

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Last updated Wednesday, June 23, 2004

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