MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. – Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville is offering a range of activities and events during the month of August. They include a story-time program, documentary film, a presentation by local author Alan Fitzpatrick and two new art exhibits. The programs and exhibits are free and open to the public.
An art-themed “Story Time” program for children aged 5 through 12 will be presented by Kayla Grose from the Moundsville-Marshall County Public Library at 11 a.m. on Aug. 10. Grose will read stories about animals, including some Native American legends. This program is part of the library’s summertime reading program with the theme “Tails and Tales.” Participants must pre-register by calling Grose at the library at (304) 845-6911.
The museum’s “Featured Artists of the Month” exhibit showcases work by members of the Ohio Valley Photo Club. The club includes all levels of expertise from beginner to professionals and offers educational programs as well organizing group shows of their work. A second exhibit, located in the museum’s Activity Room, features two-and three-dimensional works created by members of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. Both exhibits are on display throughout the month of August.
Visitors also can get creative while celebrating one of summer’s night-time icons by making fireflies using glow-in-the-dark beads and pipe cleaners at the museum’s Discovery Table. This activity is available during regular museum hours.
The museum’s Second Saturday Film series continues Saturday, Aug. 14. The documentary “First Face of America” will be shown at 1 and 3 p.m. The 60-minute film tells the story of a teenage girl who fell to her death in a 100-foot-deep pit inside a cave in Mexico’s Yucatan around 13,000 years ago. Her remains were discovered by a team of cave divers amongst the bones of Ice Age animals such as giant sloths and saber-tooth tigers. The latest forensic techniques reveal the life and death of this young woman and the story of some of the first people who ventured into the Americas.
On Saturday, August 28, Grave Creek will conclude its August program schedule with author and artist Alan Fitzpatrick. Titled “The Material Culture of Native Americans in the Ohio Country of the 18th Century,” this program will begin at 1 p.m. and offers a hands-on examination of artifacts and replicas representing how Native Americans lived during the 1700s in an interactive presentation suitable for the whole family. Fitzpatrick has had a long-time fascination with early frontier history of the Upper Ohio Valley and is a founding member of the “Fort Henry Days” annual re-enactment at Oglebay Park in Wheeling. He has written several books about local interactions and conflicts between Native Americans and settlers and will hold a book signing after his program.
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 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and closed Sunday and Monday. Access to the Mound and other outdoor areas closes at 4:30 p.m.
For more information about activities and programs at Grave Creek Mound, contact Andrea Keller, cultural program coordinator, at (304) 843-4128 or [email protected] or visit www.facebook.com/gravecreekmound and www.twitter.com/gravecreekmound.