MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. — This February, Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will offer several activities for families, including a lecture and a film in honor of Black History Month, an afternoon of indoor activities relating to gardening and a make-your-own pop-up greeting cards for Valentine’s Day or other occasions. All programs are free and open to the public.
The monthly Second Saturday program will explore African American history in the New River Gorge area of West Virginia at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11. The program will be presented remotely from the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve and can be attended in the auditorium at the Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex. It is titled “Heritage of the New River Gorge: African American History and Beyond” and will be presented by Park Ranger Jodi French-Burr. French-Burr has served as Interpretive Park Ranger with the National Park Service (NPS) since 1987 and uses her skills as an educator, storyteller, naturalist and historian to help others explore the rich history of the United States.
The early 1900s was a boom-time of industrialization in the New River Gorge of southern West Virginia. Rich stories of people and places fill the landscape, including many tales of African Americans that worked on the railroad and in the coal towns. French-Burr explains how to explore and experience the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve first-hand and online. Trail hikes to historic sites, drives on the African American Heritage Tour and virtual story deep-dives such as the Hidden History Highlights video series all help bring the past to life.
The second program celebrating Black History Month is a documentary titled “Davis Bottom: Rare History, Valuable Lives” and will be presented at 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 23. This 1-hour film tells the remarkable story of Davis Bottom, a diverse, tight knit, working class neighborhood established near downtown Lexington, Ky., after the Civil War. Both African Americans and immigrants established homes in this racially diverse neighborhood. This program was produced by the Kentucky Archaeological Survey and the Kentucky Heritage Council.
Are you looking for a break from dreary winter weather? Lift your spirits at “Green Your Winter Blues” with indoor activities relating to gardening from noon – 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18. Members of Ohio County Master Gardeners, Todd Hager from the Marshall County Cooperative Extension Office, museum staff and volunteers will lead activities, such as propagating a house plant, soil testing, making a “Sprout House” and creating a corn husk doll. Visitors can also test their knowledge of backyard birds and receive seeds from the museum’s Interpretive Garden to plant at home. In addition, the 1-hour film “Lords of the Gourd” provides tips for growing giant pumpkins through the experiences of several contestants at the annual Cooperstown Giant Pumpkin Weigh Off. The film will be shown at 2 p.m. as part of the gardening program.
To celebrate Valentine’s Day, the museum encourages everyone to brighten someone’s day with a homemade greeting card. Greeting cards featuring a pop-up flower garden can be made at the museum’s Discovery Table during regular museum hours throughout the month and are suitable for surprising a loved one on Valentine’s Day or other occasions.
Operated by the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex features one of the largest conical burial mounds built by the Adena people between 250 – 150 B.C. and ranks as one of the largest earthen mortuary mounds anywhere in the world. Exhibits and displays in the Delf Norona Museum interpret what is known about the lives of these prehistoric people and the construction of the mound. The complex also houses the West Virginia Archaeological Research and Collections Management Facility.
Admission to Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex is free. The Delf Norona Museum, located at 801 Jefferson Avenue, is open 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and closed Sunday and Monday. Access to the Mound and other outdoor areas closes at 4:30 pm.
For more information about activities and programs at Grave Creek Mound, contact Andrea Keller, cultural program coordinator, at (304) 843-4128 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.facebook.com/gravecreekmound and www.twitter.com/gravecreekmound.