The Grand Meadow Chert Mine

The Grand Meadow Chert Mine is located northwest of Grand Meadow, where 15 acres of cultivated land surrounds the wooded lot that has stood undisturbed for 100 to 150 years with open pits dotting the wooded area. It is only a small portion of what used to be over 100 acres of land used to mine chert. The Grand Meadow Chert Mine is owned by the Archaeological Conservancy.

Maynard Green, long-time resident of Grand Meadow, recognized something special about the Chert Mine and convinced archaeologists and curators to take a look. The Chert Mine represents a time before modern man, dating as far back as 9,000 years B.C. to 300 A.D., where prehistoric people mined for the stone using the knowledge of their time, their hands and primitive tools, gaining new techniques through the years to make arrowheads, points, spears and scrapers. 

In the latter years, Native Americans would gather in the area, camping while they dug by hand or with stone and wooden tools they had made. After gathering the stone, they would chip and flake the stone to make their points at the chert mine or they would shape them into a more manageable size and go home to finish their tool or weapon. The technique is called knapping.

To arrange a tour of the Chert Mine, please contact the Mower County Historical Society at (507) 437-6082.

 

 

 

 

© Mower County Historical Society | Austin, Minnesota