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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Town Creek Indian Mound

by Alexis W. Locklear, 2006The reconstructed mound and temple at Town Creek Indian Mound State Historic Site. Photograph courtesy of North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film, and Sports Development.

Town Creek Indian Mound is located five miles southeast of Mount Gilead in Montgomery County. More than 600 years ago, migrating Indians selected this spot overlooking the Little River for a ceremonial center. The Town Creek center served as a fortified refuge and a place to discuss matters important to the people of the Pee Dee culture, as well as a site for religious ceremonies and feasts, which often lasted several days. When white settlers arrived in the eighteenth century, the Pee Dee Indians had long been living elsewhere, probably with the Catawba. When whites occupied the site where the Pee Dee had lived, they left the mound alone but farmed the land around it.

Beginning in the late nineteenth century, people untrained in archaeological techniques from time to time excavated the site in hopes of finding a treasure or other valuable objects. In 1936, however, under Joffre L. Coe, a student at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, careful archaeological excavations began. Coe's thorough work, continuing into the late twentieth century, produced a unique record of professional excavations.

In 1937 the landowner, L. D. Frutchey, donated the site to the state for scientific excavation and the creation of a state park, and Town Creek Indian Mound became the first North Carolina State Historic Site. Transferred to the Department of Archives and History in 1955, the modern-day site includes a visitors center, two temples, a burial house, and a stockade, in addition to the mound. Restorations are based on extensive archaeological and documentary research.

References:

Joffre L. Coe, Town Creek Indian Mound: A Native American Legacy (1995).

Richard F. Knapp, ed., North Carolina's State Historic Sites: A Brief History and Status Report (1995).

Douglas L. Rights, The American Indian in North Carolina (2nd ed., 1957).

 

Origin - location: 

Comments

Comment: 

It would be really neat if I could find photos of the original excavation site looked like and how much of the site is actually original.

Comment: 

We visited the Indian mounds in Macon many years ago. Is there any relationship between the PeeDee Indians of the Town Creek Indian mounds and the Muscogee Indian mounds at the Ocmulgee National Monument in Macon Georgia? Are they both representative of the Creek Nation?

Comment: 

You know you people are real disrespectful trying to tell our story and what you think you know with all the theory’s you people didn’t even come around to the 1700s so with that being said fake 5 dollar Indians can hang it up we the American aboriginal/American Indians are coming for our birth rights and identity along with getting our land and everything else oh yeah we sueing because you all have no rights taking our ancestors artifacts along with everything us y’all took so be aware we coming

Comment: 

Hello Mickie,

There is not enough know to really answer that, but as the article says, they likely lived with the Catawba tribe by the time the area was settled by Europeans. The Catawba were a Siouan tribe. Sioiuan refers to their language. Many tribes are Siouan, Algonquiian, or Iroqiuian, I'm not sure about the Creek, but there does not seem to be any evidence that the Creek and Catawba or PeeDee were related. I think that would take a lot of research to find out.

Erin Bradford, Government and Heritage Library.

Comment: 

I like it but it need a lot more humor.

Comment: 

What is the actual height and width of the structure

Comment: 

your right.

Comment: 

Dear Ms. Bellow,

Thank you for your question about this NC treasure. Surprisingly, I have not been able to find information about the dimensions of the mound. If you would like to contact them directly, perhaps they would be able to provide this information. Physical and email address is below:

Town Creek Indian Mound
509 Town Creek Mound Rd.
Mt. Gilead, NC 27306
Phone: (910) 439-6802
Fax: (910) 439-6441
Email: towncreek@ncdcr.gov

Thank you.

Mike Millner, NC Government & Heritage Library

Comment: 

THIS IS VERY UGLY

Comment: 

Hi, Jeff.

What aspects of the structure do you not like? Would this image be better if it were in color?

Mike Millner, NC Government & Heritage Library

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