Moundsville, West Virginia: Grave Creek Mound

2,000 year old Adena burial mound created by Indians is the largest; their story is told in the Delf Norona Museum, and the site includes the WV Archaeology Center.
Address:
801 Jefferson Ave., Moundsville, WV
Directions:
I-470 exit 1. Take US 250/Hwy 2 south ten miles into Moundsville. When US 250 and Hwy 2 split, follow Hwy 2 for another six blocks to 8th street. Turn left on 8th for two blocks to Jefferson Avenue, then right on Jefferson.
Hours:
Tu-Sa 9-5. Gift shop closes 4:30. (Call to verify)
Phone:
304-843-4128
Admission:
Free.
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Grave Creek Mound

The first floor is not used as a community room -- it is devoted to local and state artists and their work, nothing comes from the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, there is no weaving technology here and you do not have to be an athlete to climb to the top of the mound. The view of the mound and from the top of the mound is spectacular.

[Debbie, 01/07/2016]

Cave Creek Mound.

Grave Creek Mound - no skeletons

Across the street from the old West Virginia State Penitentiary is the Grave Creek Indian Mound; the only remaining publicly-accessible example of the ancient features that gave Moundsville its name.

The museum boasts a number of old exhibits spread over two floors. The exhibits focus mainly on archaeological finds, so be prepared to view examples of every flint or stone technology invented by the Adena people during their millennium-long reign from 1000 BC - 1 AD.

On the museum's second floor, a rather nice exhibit explaining the scientific side of Archaeology can be found alongside a detailed depiction of the mound's various layers. Visitors can judge for themselves whether the "infamous Grave Creek Tablet" -- basically an Adena commemorative plaque -- is real, or the clever invention of overzealous 1930's archaeologists in search of funding...

The mound itself is rather uninteresting. All excavated tunnels have been filled. All structures on the mound have been torn down, and all older structures surrounding the mound are dilapidated and barred with plywood. Athletic types ascending to the lofty elevation of 69 feet are greeted by a stone compass marker, a 2 ft. stone retaining wall, and an obtrusive 3" steel drainage pipe sticking oddly out of the mound.

A moderately interesting way to spend 90 minutes or so; unless you're an avid follower of Indian arrowheads or weaving technology, your view of the mound from outside the iron fence is not greatly improved by passage through the museum's glass doors.

[Jim Kilmer, 10/13/2001]

April 2013: Photo added.

Nearby Offbeat Places

West Virginia State Penitentiary TourWest Virginia State Penitentiary Tour, Moundsville, WV - < 1 mi.
Marx Toy MuseumMarx Toy Museum, Moundsville, WV - < 1 mi.
Toy and Plastic Brick MuseumToy and Plastic Brick Museum, Bellaire, OH - 8 mi.
In the region:
Mountaineer Military Museum, Weston, WV - 62 mi.

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