My family recently visited Town Creek Indian Mound in Mount Gilead. The historic site is only about a 45 minute drive from our home, but it was a place that we had never even heard of until recently. We went with a group of friends from our homeschool group and took a guided tour of the site including a hunting tool demonstration and a cooking demonstration. We learned so much about what Native American life was like in this area before European settlers arrived. My children loved it and even asked to walk back through the reconstructed buildings after the tour was over.
There are 27 state historic sites in North Carolina with several close to the Charlotte area. If your family would enjoy peeking into the past, here are three local historic sites that are well worth a visit.
For more information about North Carolina Historic Sites, visit historicsites.nc.gov.
- President James K. Polk Historic Site
12031 Lancaster Highway, Pineville
President James K. Polk Historic Site is the birthplace of James K. Polk, the 11th U.S. president. The site features reconstructions of a log house, separate kitchen, and barn. The visitor center features a short film and exhibits on Polk’s life and presidency. Significant events of Polk’s presidency include the Mexican-American War, settlement of the Oregon boundary dispute, and the annexation of California.
The site is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The site is closed on Sundays and Mondays. Admission is free.
- Reed Gold Mine
9621 Reed Mine Road, Midland
Reed Gold Mine is the site of the first documented gold discovery in the United States. The site features a restored underground mine, a reconstructed stamp mill, trails featuring historic mining equipment, and a gold panning area. The visitor center features a film and exhibits on the North Carolina gold mining industry.
The site is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The site is closed on Sundays and Mondays. Admission is free. There is a $3 cost to pan for gold. Gold panning is open April 1 through October 31.
- Town Creek Indian Mound
509 Town Creek Mound Road, Mt. Gilead
Town Creek Indian Mound offers visitors a glimpse into what American Indian life was like 1000 years ago. The site features a mound, two temple structures, a burial house, and a surrounding stockade. The visitor center features a film and exhibits describing the archeological excavation of the area and the culture of the people who once inhabited the site.
The site is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The site is closed on Mondays. Admission is free.