An Extensive Archaeological Site is Buried Beneath a Windsor Neighborhood
Lined with beautiful homes and perfectly manicured lawns, no one would ever assume that Windsor's River West subdivision is also the location of one of the largest bison kill sites ever to take place in Colorado.
The extensive archaeological site, where more than 4,000 bison bones have been uncovered, was first discovered during the midst of a construction project in 1997.
According to the Poudre Heritage Organization, when the construction crew began uncovering bones, they called in the Colorado State University Anthropology Department to further investigate their findings.
Members from the anthropology department ended up taking 97 charcoal samples from the site in Windsor. By checking the radiocarbon in these samples, the team was able to determine that an event had occurred sometime around 8000 BC.
The event they were talking about was over 2,7000 years ago, when an Archaic-era of people living in what's now considered Windsor, led a slew of bison off an arroyo (cliff) and into the creek below, where they were then trapped, killed, and butchered.
To date, approximately 200 bison have been recovered from the site. The Poudre Heritage Organization names this location as the largest bison kill site from the Archaic era in Colorado, and one of the largest single events ever to be carried out of this kind.
The archaeologists concluded their investigations on the area in 1999 and the site was covered back over with dirt. Officially named the Kaplan-Hoover Bonebed, the Windsor location was placed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places in 2003.
In 2004, the Kaplan-Hoover Bonebed was purchased with public and private funds, so that it would remain untouched for years to come.
Although it's now part of the River West neighborhood, it's on private property. However, the site can be seen by the public from an area on the Poudre River Trail. To access that spot, start at the Poudre River Trailhead located at 32554 CR 13 in Windsor. Travel west for approximately 2/3 mile until you reach the interpretive wayside for the Kaplan-Hoover Bison Bonebed. There's also another sign at the base of the arroyo, located at 2141 Meander Road.