The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

February 3, 2014

Town Creek Under the Stars will view Neptune and Mercury on Feb. 8


Contributed

Monday, February 3, 2014 —  

Mount Gilead – Town Creek Indian Mound will host Town Creek Under Stars on Saturday at 6 p.m.  Participants will view Neptune and Mercury side-by-side in the western sky at sunset.

 

The waxing gibbous Moon will be high the sky for viewing the intricate details of many craters that scar its surface.  Speaking of the Moon, a very rare Black Moon will occur this month.  A Black Moon month is devoid of a Full or New Moon; unlike a Blue Moon when two Full Moons occur in the same month.  In this case, February will be missing a New Moon, which last occurred in 1995 and won’t happen again until 2033.

 

“With Valentine’s Day so close, it will be a perfect time to bring your special someone to spend an evening under the stars,” says Site Manager Rich Thompson.

 

Town Creek Indian Mound was also featured in Our State Magazine’s “10 Places to Enjoy the North Carolina Night Sky.”

 

While patio heaters will be available for comfort, interested stargazers are encouraged to dress for the weather.  Participants may also bring binoculars and telescopes.  The staff will have a scope available if you do not have one.  Advanced registration is requested by calling or emailing the site.  This event is free and open to the public but donations are welcome.  Please contact the site at 910-439-6802 or at towncreek@ncdcr.gov to register.

 

For more than 1,000 years, American Indians farmed lands later known as North Carolina. Around A.D. 1000, a new cultural tradition arrived in the Pee Dee River Valley.  Throughout Georgia, South Carolina, eastern Tennessee, and western and southern Piedmont North Carolina, inhabitants built earthen mounds for their leaders, engaged in widespread trade, supported craftspeople, and celebrated a new religion.

 

The mission of Town Creek is to interpret the history of the American Indians who once lived here.  The visitor center features interpretive exhibits and audiovisual displays.  A national historic landmark, Town Creek Indian Mound State Historic Site is North Carolina’s only state historic site dedicated to American Indian heritage.  Tour groups are welcome and encouraged.  The site is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.  It is closed to the public Sundays and Mondays and most major holidays.

 

The historic site is within the Division of State Historic Sites and located at 509 Town Creek Mound Road, Mount Gilead, NC, 27306.  For more information on Town Creek, visit www.towncreekindianmound.com.