News…

MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. — Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will kick off the 2019 monthly lecture and film series with a documentary film titled “Time Team America: New Philadelphia, IL.” The one-hour film will be shown on Thursday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m., and is free and open to the public.

Time Team America consists of a group of archaeologists who use their special expertise and high-tech tools to take on a challenging research question. In this episode, they search for remnants of the schoolhouse that served the children of New Philadelphia, Ill., the first American town founded by former slaves.

In 1836, “Free Frank” McWorter purchased freedom for himself, his wife and several of his children. He also purchased 160 acres of land in Illinois and moved his family there from Kentucky. He subdivided his land and sold lots to other free members of his family, and the town of New Philadelphia was born. Much had been learned about the town by studying documents, oral history and archaeology, but one building, the schoolhouse, was still a mystery. 

The schoolhouse served an important role not only for the town’s children, but also as a center for community activity. It also symbolized freedom as McWorter, like many ex-slaves, had never learned to read and write.

This program was co-produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting, Videotext Communications Ltd. and Channel 4 International.

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 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and closed Sunday and Monday. Outdoor access 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.

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