Statement of Significance (as of designation - November 4, 1993):
This is a major concentration of historic archeological sites related to the mining of lead from 1788 to 1855. About 1690, Native Americans brought the lead deposits here to the attention of French explorer Nicholas Perrot, who established a trading post at the site. The site was abandoned, however, by 1710, until about 1788, when French trader Julien Dubuque (1762-1810) negotiated an agreement with the Mesquakie Indians for the sole permission to work the mines. Dubuque reestablished a trading post at the site, and engaged Indians and French engagees (laborers) to extract the lead, which he annually transported to St. Louis and exchanged for trade goods.