The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Regional

March 3, 2014

Highlight of Town Creek Under the Stars will be the Moon on March 15

Monday, March 3, 2014 — Mount Gilead – Town Creek Indian Mound will host Town Creek Under Stars on Saturday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m.  Participants will view the nearly full Moon and learn fun moon facts.  The March full moon, called many different things by various American Indian tribes, was an important one in that it marked the end of cold weather and the beginning of spring

 

Another highlight of the evening will be viewing the Owl Cluster (NGC 457), an open cluster with nearly 100 stars situated in the constellation Cassiopeia.  It gets is name from its owl shape, or even its E.T.-like resemblance to the popular movie alien.  The Owl Cluster lies 7900 light years away and is estimated to be 21 million years old.

 

“While the full moon does not occur until the following evening, we’ll still look on it with joy and anticipation of warmer days to come, as I am sure American Indians did,” 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.  

 

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