Copper Culture State Park
Farmstead at Copper Culture State Park
|NRHP Reference #||66000023|
|Added to NRHP||October 15, 1966|
|Designated NHL||January 20, 1961|
Copper Culture State Park is a 48-acre (19 ha) Wisconsin state park in Oconto, northeastern Wisconsin. The 40-acre park has natural areas, farmlands, archaeological sites, and a Native American museum.
The park contains an ancient burial ground used by the Old Copper Complex Culture of early Native Americans, here between 5,000 and 6,000 years ago during the Copper Age. It was rediscovered in June 1952 by a 13-year-old boy who unearthed human bones while playing in an old quarry. By July the first archaeological dig had commenced, as part of the program of the Wisconsin Archaeological Survey.
- Copper: awls, crescents, clasps; and a spear-point, fishhook, bracelet, spirally-coiled tubing, rivet, and a spatula.
- Chipped stone: scraper, projectile points.
- Bone: awl (fish jawbone), and a "fine specimen of a whistle" (leg bone of a swan).
- Antler: possible flaking tools.
- Shell: pond snail (Campeloma decisum) beads.
The ancient burial ground is a National Historic Landmark, on the National Register of Historic Places listings in Wisconsin, and protected within Copper Culture State Park.
Charles Werrebroeck Museum
The Oconto Archaic Copper Museum is located within the Charles Werrebroeck Museum—Belgium Home, a traditional Belgian style farmhouse built in 1924 by Charles Werrebroeck. Artifacts and photographs from excavations on the park's grounds are displayed in the museum.
Other features in the 40-acre Copper Culture State Park include picnic tables, BBQ grills, restrooms, and a community pavilion.
- Natural history
Nature trails explore various natural habitats in the park.
- Laurentian Mixed Forest woodlands
- Riparian zone of the Oconto River, and fishing in it.
- Short-grass prairie
Copper Culture State Park is managed by the Oconto County Historical Society, a non-profit organization, rather than the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, therefore admission is free. Visitors do not require a Wisconsin state park pass to enter, but are encouraged to make a donation at the museum.
The Charles Werrebroeck Museum, with the Oconto Archaic Copper Museum, is open in the summer from Memorial Day to Labor Day, on Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 3pm, or by appointment. Free admission and guided tours are available.
- Old Copper Complex
- Native American archeological sites on the National Register of Historic Places listings in Oconto County, Wisconsin'
- Great Lakes tribal culture
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15.
- "Oconto Site". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-06-30.
- Rootsweb: Original 1952 report and photographs of the Copper Culture Burial Site — from the first archaeological dig. | accessed 4.14.2013
- rootsweb: Werrebroeck Farmhouse
- Rootsweb: Copper Culture State Park . accessed 4.14.2013
- official Copper Culture State Park website
- Belgium-Roots Project: Belgium Home—the Werrebroeck Farmhouse — in Copper Culture State Park, Oconto County (Wisconsin).