The cache is placed in the Mines of Spain Recreation Area along the Eagle Scout Trail. It is at the given coordinates. The nearest parking is at the Cattesse Hallow Access area (see parking coordinates). It is located off Olde Massey Rd. From there follow the Cattesse Trail to the Eagle Scout Trail. Most of this area is open to hunting so wear the appropriate clothing during hunting season.
To MINIMIZE THE BUSHWHACKING after finding this cache, return to the Eagle Scout Trail and follow the trail to the area of the “Oh! The Stories It Could Tell” cache.
The cache is placed with the permission of the Iowa DNR. The Mines of Spain Recreation Area is open year around from 4 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
HISTORY OF THE AREA: The earliest known inhabitants of the Mines of Spain State Recreation Area during historical times were the Mesquakie. Their village was located at the mouth of Catfish Creek, just south of where the Julien Dubuque Monument now stands. From this site, the Mesquakie carried on a fur trade with French voyagers. They also worked the lead mines for many decades dating back to before the Revolutionary War. There is also evidence of prehistoric Native American cultures, some dating back as much as 8,000 years. Mounds, village sites, rock shelters, trading post sites, and campsites dot the landscape.
Lead mining was a major part of this area’s history, first by the Native Americans, and in later years (late 1830s through the 1850s) by European miners and farmers. The Civil War caused renewed lead mining activity, which waned after the war, but continued until 1914.