Located next to the bluffs a bit north of Burlington, the village of Kingston was founded by W. King. In the late 19th century, it had a couple of general stores, a shoe shop, and a few other businesses that provided the essentials of small town life. A major flood in 1922 hit Kingston hard, but the village has persevered to this day. One of the early Europeans in the area, Joab Hinson, still has descendants who live here.
Exploring the Area
A marker for the grave of Meskwakwi leader Tama is located along Highway 99 south of Kingston. Tama led a group that lived near modern-day Burlington. He had generally good relations with European settlers but had his doubts about the wisdom of Indians assimilating into white culture. In 1822, Jedidiah Morse wrote about Tama:
“He one day informed me when conversing upon this subject that the Great Spirit had put Indians on the earth to hunt, and gain a living in the wilderness; that he always found, that when any of their people departed from this mode of life, by attempting to learn to read write and live as white people do, the Great Spirit was displeased, and they soon died.”
From A Report to the Secretary of War of the United States, on Indian Affairs: Comprising a Narrative of a Tour Performed in the Summer of 1820 by Jedidiah Morse (1822)
Indian mounds from the Middle Woodland period (about 2,000 years ago) have been preserved at Malchow Mounds State Preserve (County Road 99). The 6-acre site contains nearly 60 conical and linear burial mounds from a culture that had multiple small villages in the area.
Where to Stay
Tucked into a compact area on the dry side of the levee, the 4th Pumping Plant Recreation Area (319.753.8260) has 22 electric sites, a couple dozen primitive sites, and a playground. You’ll find it 6 miles north of Kingston on Highway X99, then 5 miles east on Pumping Station Road.
Heading upriver? Check out Oakville.
Heading downriver? Check out Burlington.
© Dean Klinkenberg, 2014
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