MOUNT GILEAD — Town Creek Indian Mound will celebrate the return of regular Sunday operational hours on Aug. 3 with ice cream sundaes.
The public is invited to join staff for hands-on activities, games and tours of the reconstructed village site between 1 and 5 p.m. The first 50 visitors through the gate will receive a free ice cream sundae. Chappell’s Homemade Ice Cream will be on site throughout the afternoon selling sundaes.
Traditionally, Town Creek had been open from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Those hours of operation were suspended at all state historic sites as a cost-saving measure in May 2013. Sites have now been given the opportunity to reopen, and officials say Town Creek is the first to do so.
“We’re excited to welcome the public back on Sundays,” site manager Rich Thompson said in a statement. “It’s important for Town Creek to be open on one of the two days each week that most families are available for recreation and travel.”
For more than 1,000 years, American Indians farmed lands later known as North Carolina. Around 1000 A.D., a new cultural tradition arrived in the Pee Dee River Valley. Throughout Georgia, South Carolina, eastern Tennessee and the western and southern North Carolina Piedmont, 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. The site is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and now from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. It is closed to the public Mondays and most major holidays.
The historic site is located at 509 Town Creek Mound Road outside Mount Gilead. For more information on Town Creek, visit www.towncreekindianmound.com.