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Des Moines traces its origins to May 1843, when Captain James Allen supervised the construction of a fort on the site where the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers merge. The fort was built to control the Sauk and Meskwaki Indians, whom the government had moved to the area from their traditional lands in eastern Iowa.
Allen wanted to use the name Fort Raccoon; however, the U. The fort was abandoned in 1846 after the Sauk and Meskwaki were removed from the state and shifted to the Indian Territory.
Its first mine, north of town on the river's west side, was exhausted by 1873.
The Black Diamond mine, near the south end of the West Seventh Street Bridge, sank a 150-foot (46 m) mine shaft to reach a 5-foot-thick (1.5 m) coal bed.
It contains well-preserved house deposits and numerous graves. State of Iowa archaeologist John Doershuk was assisted by University of Iowa archaeologists at this dig.
At least three Late Prehistoric villages, dating from about AD 1300 to 1700, stood in or near what developed later as downtown Des Moines.
By 1876, this mine employed 150 men and shipped 20 carloads of coal per day.
By 1885, numerous mine shafts were within the city limits, and mining began to spread into the surrounding countryside. This was about 1.7% of the city's population in 1910.
This was where the earliest known encounters between the Moingona and European explorers took place.In addition, 15 to 18 prehistoric American Indian mounds were observed in this area by early settlers.All have been destroyed during development of the city.This town is at the juncture of the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers.
It is mostly a level prairie with a few swells or hills around it.Several prehistoric occupation areas have been identified by archeologists in downtown Des Moines.Discovered in December 2010, the "Palace" is an expansive, 7,000-year-old site found during excavations prior to construction of the new wastewater treatment plant in southeastern Des Moines.It is on and named after the Des Moines River, which likely was adapted from the French colonial name, Rivière des Moines, meaning "River of the Monks". insurance industry, and has a sizable financial services and publishing business base.