This Day in NC History: Town Creek Indian Mound, gift of Lloyd Frutchey

Image from UNC-Chapel Hill Archaeological exploration at Town Creek Indian Mound.

Image from UNC-Chapel Hill
Archaeological exploration at Town Creek Indian Mound.

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On April 1, 1937, Lloyd Frutchey, a Montgomery County farmer, donated one acre of land containing a Mississippian-era Indian mound to the state of North Carolina for preservation and archaeological exploration. The area was known as Frutchey State Park until the 1940s, when its name was changed to Town Creek.

Significant work didn’t start at the mound until November 1939 when the project was approved as a Works Progress Administration program. Some of the best archaeological work performed at the site came during the WPA years, but World War II effectively shut down operations there. Joffre Coe, the original archaeological supervisor at the site and chief archaeologist at UNC, resumed his work at Town Creek after the war. Coe worked on the project for more than 50 years.

In 1955, Town Creek Indian Mound became a state historic site under the Department of Archives and History. It remains the only site dedicated to interpreting the lives of American Indians. Town Creek includes the preserved mound as well as two reconstructed temples, a burial hut and a mortuary hut.

Visit: One of 27 state historic sites, Town Creek Indian Mound is located near Mount Gilead in Montgomery County, and is open six days each week.

This Day in North Carolina History is a production of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. For more about North Carolina’s history, arts and culture, visit Cultural Resources.

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