Mount Hosmer: Hattie’s Challenge (MISSING) and Bec  LbNA # 21337 (ARCHIVED)

OwnerY's Guys    
Placed DateNov 11 2005
LocationLansing, IA
Found By speech teacher
Last Found Aug 4 2010
Hike Distance?

NOTE: July 2011:
Box #1: Hatties Challenge, MISSING,
Box #2 Beck Point, still A-OK!

(CHECKED & FOUND 4/18/09)
(April 18, 2009: REVISED CLUES)

(YAY! First one in the County!)

Mount Hosmer City Park is open daily 8 a.m. to Sunset (closed during winter). It sits on top of a high river bluff with scenic views of three states: Iowa, Wisconsin, & Minnesota.
“Freedom Is Not Free”
Mount Hosmer is also a Veteran’s Memorial Park. There are three lookout points that honor World War I soldier’s Glynn, Beck, and Strong, who died during battles in 1918 (marked with U.S. Flags & visible from streets in town). The park is dedicated “to all honorable discharged veterans of military service regardless of where they live or if they fought in a war”.

Today’s adventure recalls an event that gave Mount Hosmer its name. It occurred during a time when territories were joining together to form the United States of America. Iowa was the 29th state to join the union (in 1846); Wisconsin, the 30th state (1848).

This story begins even earlier ...

Over 175 years ago (1830) in Massachusetts, a little girl named Harriet “Hattie” Hosmer was born. Hattie’s mother died and with an idea that it would prevent the deadly tuberculosis disease, Hattie’s father raised her like a boy. She learned things girls usually didn’t learn ~ like shooting, exploring mines, rowing boats, skating on ponds, horseback riding, and such.


One memorable occasion was in 1851 when Hattie, only 21 years old, was traveling un-chaperoned aboard a Mississippi River steamboat. Amid the trip, the boat docked by a newly settled river town called Lansing, in the five year old state of Iowa. During this layover some young men challenged Hattie to a FOOTRACE ~ to the TOP of the adjacent 450-FOOT HIGH Mississippi river bluff! Hattie accepted the most difficult contest … and defied the odds by WINNING the race! The bluff was later christened “Mount Hosmer”. It bears that name to this day!


(20 minutes; short but fairly steep; parental supervision advised)

ON YOUR MARK...Begin your race at the mighty Mississippi River and Blackhawk Bridge where Wisconsin’s Hwy 82 meets Iowa’s Hwy 9.

GET SET...Travel West on 9; right on Main Street to 6th Street; North on 6th to Hill.

GO!... From the two-pillar starting point, drive up Mount Hosmer to the parking lot near restrooms. Find the Glynn Point flagpole overlooking the Mississippi River. Go north towards the Mohn memorial/observation point and find an opening in the fence at the left. Carefully head down the fairly steep path into the woods until you see a massive rock outcropping on the right. Continue downhill 50 short, cautious steps to spot between two “wiry” trees. Take a compass bearing of 45-degrees and head 20 paces in that direction to a large “wiry” hollow oak, where you’ll catch up with Hattie. After your visit, return to the path, and welcome a new respect for Hattie as you conduct your own footrace back up the hill!!! Oh yeah!


(20 minutes; gentle slope down but then one short, pretty steep section; parental supervision advised)

Hattie didn’t want to waste such a GRAND OPPORTUNITY FOR ANOTHER ADVENTURE ... so she decided to explore the bluff before returning to port. You should too!

Begin your adventure at the bench of the WWI Memorial (in the area near the park shelter and playground). Head in a West-North-West direction through the historical white pines to a youngster pine near the driveway. Continue across the road in a West-South-West direction through the park lawn and majestic trees to the woody tree line. Continue in that direction down the trail into the woods on the ridge.

You will soon reach a distinct 90-degree right turn (just before a drop-off near cedar evergreens). Carefully, descend the short rocky trail right and counter-clockwise around a rock outcropping to a landing. Face that massive orange hued sandstone rock wall. It's "full steam ahead" to the cave-like hiding place towards the left in a NNW direction behind the twin-birch "V" trees.

(Just as Hattie may have done...add an adventure and explore a little...take the grassy/rocky path directly opposite the sandstone wall to the "Beck Point" flagpole overlooking town.)

Return to the main park grounds by retracing your steps (this time clockwise around the rock wall).


Whatever happened to Hattie? She became one of the most successful women artists of the 19th century with royals like the Prince of Wales purchasing her work, and friends like literary idols Nathaniel Hawthorne and Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. She established her reputation as a great sculptress despite the NOTION that women were not artistic or physically capable of carving marble! Hattie died in 1908, at age 78, while trying to invent a perpetual motion machine!


Hope you had fun going on Hattie’s adventures!
Let us know how the letterboxes are holding up!

**Looking for another jam-packed ESCAPADE? Visit HORSEFALLS Variety, Main Street, Lansing, IA, (the one on the corner, across from Kwik Star gas station). Whoa! IT IS FULL of surprises for kids and adults alike! (Horsefalls #2 a block or so north is full of fun stuff too).

*ALSO, be sure to cross the Mighty Mississippi into nearby Gays Mills, (Crawford County, SW Wisconsin) and find our first planted letterbox, “Y’s Mac”.