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Firelight Tour at Town Creek Indian Mound Sat., Oct. 24

Mount Gilead

Shadows from the past return to bask in the flickering glow of warm hearth fires at the Town Creek Indian Mound Sat., Oct. 24. Visitors will be able to see the site in a new light with guided tours by firelight from 7 to 9 p.m.

"It's a unique opportunity to view the site as the Pee Dee culture did nearly 1000 years ago," said Site Manager Rich Thompson," and gain a better understanding of how dark the night looked before streetlights."

Guided tours, illuminated by torches and fire pits, depart every 15 minutes from the visitor center. This event is $3 for adults and $1 for children 12 and under. Groups of 20 or more are asked to call ahead to reserve a tour. Please contact towncreek@ncdcr.gov or at (910)439-6802 for more information.

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, a part of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, and located at 509 Town Creek Mound Road in Mount Gilead. For more information on Town Creek, please visit www.towncreekindianmound.com.