We have a court house of "brick" and one church, a plain, framed building belonging to the Methodists.There are two taverns here, one of which has a most important little bell that rings together some fifty boarders.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.A 2007 article in The New York Times said, "If you have any desire to witness presidential candidates in the most close-up and intimate of settings, there is arguably no better place to go than Des Moines." Some historians and researchers lacking linguistic or Algonquianist training concluded that Moingona meant "people by the portage" or something similar, a reference to the Des Moines Rapids.This was where the earliest known encounters between the Moingona and European explorers took place.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.
Arozina Perkins, a school teacher who spent the winter of 1850–1851 in the town of Fort Des Moines, was not favorably impressed: This is one of the strangest looking "cities" I ever saw...One popular interpretation of "Des Moines" ignores Vogel's research, and concludes that it refers to a group of French Trappist monks, who in the 17th century lived in huts built on top of what is now known as the ancient Monks Mound at Cahokia, the major center of Mississippian culture, which developed in what is present-day Illinois, east of the Mississippi River and the current city of St. This was some 200 miles (320 km) from the Des Moines River.Based on archeological evidence, the junction of the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers has attracted humans for at least 7,000 years.In addition, 15 to 18 prehistoric American Indian mounds were observed in this area by early settlers.