American Indian Sites
MACON COUNTY: NIKWASI MOUND
A small platform mound maintained as a park by the city of Franklin. This mound was built during the Mississippian period. A Cherokee townhouse constructed on top of the mound was described by 18th-century Scottish and British visitors to the site. There was also a village associated with the mound. Neither the mound nor the village have been archaeologically excavated.
- Located off East Main Street in Franklin, North Carolina.
- Open to the public year round. Handicapped accessible.
- For further information, call the Franklin Chamber of Commerce at (800) 336-7829.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY: TOWN CREEK INDIAN MOUND
A reconstructed ceremonial center of the Pee Dee culture, in use from about A.D. 1000 to 1600. The site has been extensively excavated and archaeological information used to reconstruct the platform mound, circular mortuary house, and a sacred square ground on this palisaded site. The site is maintained as a State Historic Site, open year round. In addition to the reconstructed ceremonial center, there is a museum with a variety of exhibits on the Town Creek site and North Carolina archaeology. Guided tours available.
- Located off N.C. 731, 5.5 miles southeast of Mt. Gilead, on Town Creek Mound Road.
- Free admission. Open to the public year round. Closed Mondays, November through March. The museum is handicapped accessible.
- Town Creek website.
- For further information, call (910) 439-6802.
STANLY COUNTY: MORROW MOUNTAIN STATE PARK
Of archaeological interest here are a number of quarry sites, which were used for thousands of years by Native Americans as sources of raw material for chipped-stone tools. The type of stone quarried is called rhyolite, and outcrops of this material occur on and around Morrow Mountain’s summit. Exhibits on this activity can be found in the park’s visitor center.
- Located off N.C. 740, approximately 3 miles east of Albemarle.
- Free admission. State Park is open year round.
- Morrow Mountain website.
- For further information, call (704) 982-4402.
SWAIN COUNTY: OCONALUFTEE ARCHAEOLOGICAL DISTRICT
This district is composed of seven sites located near the educational complex of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
- The park entrance is on U.S. 441, approximately 2 miles north of Cherokee.
- Free admission. Park is open year round.
- For further information, call (615) 436-5615.
WASHINGTON COUNTY: PETTIGREW STATE PARK
Lake Phelps, a shallow (4–9 feet deep) clear lake, contains 30 submerged dugout canoes, some of them nearly 4,400 years old. One of the excavated canoes is currently on display in a small exhibit which also features information on area wildlife.
- Located approximately 7 miles south of U.S. 64 at Creswell. From U.S. 64, follow signs to Pettigrew State Park through Creswell, turn right on Thirtyfoot Canal Road, proceed 5 miles to Lake Shore Road, where the park is located.
- Free admission. State Park is open year round, except Christmas Day. Exhibit building is handicapped accessible.
- Pettigrew website.
- For further information, call (252) 797-4475.
Colonial And Later Sites
BEAUFORT COUNTY: TOWN OF BATH
Dating back to 1705, Bath was the first incorporated town in North Carolina. Two restored houses (Palmer-Marsh House and Bonner House) are maintained as State Historic Sites. Each building contains displays on aspects of colonial life in eastern North Carolina.
- The Historic Bath Visitor Center is located on Carteret Street (N.C. 92) in Bath.
- Admission prices for buildings varies. Open year round. Closed Mondays, November through March.
- Historic Bath website.
- For further information, call (252) 923-3971.
BRUNSWICK COUNTY: BRUNSWICK TOWN, FORT ANDERSON
Maintained as a State Historic Site, Brunswick Town was in existence between the 1720s and the 1780s. During the Civil War, Fort Anderson was constructed on part of the town site. Archaeological investigations done between the late 1950s and the 1970s uncovered the remains of 25 structures, including houses, churches, and craft buildings. There is an interpretive center at the site, as well as visible archaeological ruins along a wooded path.
- Located along the bank of the Cape Fear River, 15 miles north of Southport. From Southport, take N.C. 133 north, following signs to Brunswick Town.
- Free admission. Open year round. Closed Mondays November through March. Exhibit building is handicapped accessible.
- Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson website.
- For further information, call (910) 371-6613.
DARE COUNTY: FORT RALEIGH
This English fort, occupied between 1585 and 1590, has been reconstructed based on archaeology done there by J. C. Harrington. The site is owned by the National Park Service and is a National Historic Landmark.
- Located on Roanoke Island, North Carolina.
- Free admission. Park is open year round. The visitor center and the earthen fort are handicapped accessible.
- Fort Raleigh website.
- For further information, call (252) 473-5772.
DURHAM COUNTY: STAGVILLE
This 19th-century plantation complex is owned by the State of North Carolina. There are several standing structures, including the late 18th-century plantation house, a slave quarter, and a large timber frame barn.
- Located near Durham on Old Oxford Highway, 7 miles northeast of Roxboro Road (U.S. 501 Business).
- Free admission. Open year round, Monday through Friday.
- Historic Stagville website.
- For further information, call (919) 620-0120.
FORSYTH COUNTY: HISTORIC BETHABARA PARK
This archaeological park is the remains of a mid to late 18th-century Moravian community. This property includes a visitor center, reconstructed and original structures, and the foundations of buildings which have been explored archaeologically. Tours available.
- Located on Bethabara Road, off University Parkway approximately 5 miles north of downtown Winston-Salem.
- Free admission to grounds; small charge for exhibit buildings. Grounds are open daily, year round; exhibit buildings open daily, April through November.
- Historic Bethabara Park page.
- For further information, call (336) 924-8191.
FORSYTH COUNTY: OLD SALEM
Reconstructed 18th- and 19th-century Moravian community. Old Salem is a living history site and many structures are open to the public.
- Located southwest of the intersection of U.S. 421 (I-40 Business) and U.S. 52 in Winston-Salem. Look for the brown Old Salem exit signs off I-40 (exit 193B), U.S. 52 (exit 108C), or U.S. 421 (exit 5D heading east or exit 6A heading west).
- Admission charge. Open daily year round.
- Old Salem website.
- For further information, call (336) 721-7350; also (336) 779-6190 or (888) 653-7253.
HALIFAX COUNTY: HISTORIC HALIFAX
Halifax was a commercial and political center during the 18th century. Four restored buildings maintained by Historic Sites are open for tours and there is a visitor center. Archaeological excavations have taken place at the old jail. The Montfort Interpretive Center is an archaeological exhibit in which walkways bring visitors over the excavated ruins of Joseph Montfort’s house.
- Located in Halifax. From I-95, take N.C. 903 to the town of Halifax; the site is on U.S. 301 at the corner of St. David and Dobbs streets.
- Open year round. Closed Mondays November through March. Visitor center is handicapped accessible.
- Historic Halifax website.
- For further information, call (252) 583-7191.
IREDELL COUNTY: FORT DOBBS
Fort constructed during the French and Indian War to protect settlers. Archaeological excavations have revealed the moat, cellar, magazine area, and well of the fort. There are exhibits which show both the military and civilian life of Fort Dobbs. Operated as a State Historic Site.
- Located in Statesville. From I-40, take U.S. 21 north (exit 151) for approximately 3 miles, turn left on Fort Dobbs Road, and proceed for 1 mile to the site.
- Open year round. Closed Mondays November through March.
- Fort Dobbs website.
- For further information, call (704) 873-5866.
WASHINGTON COUNTY: SOMERSET PLACE
Late 18th- and 19th-century plantation with existing house and outbuildings. Archaeological excavations have taken place in the formal gardens, the smokehouse, and at some of the houses and other structures associated with the enslaved African-American community. There is a visitor center and guided tours are available. Somerset Place is operated as a State Historic Site.
- Located approximately 7 miles south of U.S. 64 at Creswell. From U.S. 64, follow signs to Somerset Place through Creswell, turn right on Thirtyfoot Canal Road, proceed 5 miles, turn left on Lake Shore Road, and proceed .5 miles to the site.
- Free admission. Open year round.
- Somerset Place website.
- For further information, call (252) 797-4560.