“Town Creek Under the Stars” set to usher in spring

Part of the Town Creek Indian Mound village is seen in this photograph that also captures a striking view of the night sky. (TCIM photo)

Part of the Town Creek Indian Mound village is seen in this photograph that also captures a striking view of the night sky. (TCIM photo)

MOUNT GILEAD (NCDCR) – Following the first day of spring, Town Creek Indian Mound will host “Town Creek Under the Stars” on Saturday, March 21, from 7-10 p.m. A very young waxing crescent moon will be setting in the western sky along with Mars, Venus, and Uranus. Interestingly, Mars and the moon will only be half a degree apart from each other. Participants will also view Jupiter and learn about the constellation Leo, the Lion.

“With the hope that cold winter days are behind us,” says Historic Interpreter Karen Bowles, “warmer spring nights bring another level of excitement to stargazing this time of year.”

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

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.

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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., and Sunday, 1-5 p.m. It is closed to the public Mondays and most major holidays.

The historic site is within the Division of State Historic Sites in the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources (NCDCR). It is located at 509 Town Creek Mound Road, Mount Gilead, NC, 27306. For more information on Town Creek, visit http://www.towncreekindianmound.com or call (910) 439-6802.

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