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Encyclopedia Dubuque

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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.




COUNCIL RINGS

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Council ring at Eagle Point
COUNCIL RINGS. Jens JENSEN, a famed landscape architect, was invited to Dubuque by Alfred CALDWELL, Dubuque's park superintendent, during the work on EAGLE POINT PARK. According to Steven Ulstad, a Dubuque architect and valued reference on this topic, Caldwell had worked for Jensen in Chicago from 1926-1931 prior to the start of the GREAT DEPRESSION. When he came to Dubuque, Jensen suggested the construction of council rings at Eagle Point overlooking the MISSISSIPPI RIVER. Another set was constructed at MURPHY PARK.

Jensen saw these stone circles as symbols of traditions from both the Viking past of his Danish ancestors and of Native Americans. Because a group sitting on these stones would be gathered in a continuous circle, there would be no head or hierarchy, but a simple statement that all members of the community were important to it.