West Virginia Department of Commerce Native American Heritage

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Native American Heritage



Grave Creek Mound Archaeology Complex features one of the largest and most famous burial mounds built by the prehistoric Adena people. A massive undertaking, construction of the mound took place in successive stages from about 250-150 B.C., and required the movement of more than 60,000 tons of earth. Exhibits and displays in the complex’s museum interpret what is known about the lives of these prehistoric people and the construction of the mound. The Museum is located at 801 Jefferson Ave., in Moundsville

The second largest remaining Indian Burial Mound is in South Charleston and measures 175 feet in diameter at the base and approximately 35 feet high. Some early in habitants from South Charleston were believed to be a race of people as Indians of the Adena Culture, also known as Mound Builders. Arrowheads, believed to be from a pre-Adena Civilization have also been found in the Spring Hill area of South Charleston. The mound is located in the downtown business district along MacCorkle Ave (U.S. Route 60) fronting Oakes Avenue and Seventh Avenue.  For more information contact: South Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau, P.O. Box 8599, South Charleston, WV 25303, Phone:(304) 746-5552 or toll free  (800) 238-9488.

Man has apparently been a visitor to the area around Seneca Rocks for a long time. Some evidence suggests that the Native Americans of the Archaic Period may have camped at the mouth of nearby Seneca Creek. The famous Seneca Trail followed the Potomac River, allowing the Algonquin, Tuscarora, and Seneca tribes to trade and make war.

Many of West Virginia State Parks have native American heritage associated with them:

Tu-endie-wei State Park - At the junction of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers stands this monument which commemorates the frontiersmen who fought and died at the Battle of Point Pleasant. This battle was fought with Chief Cornstalk on October 10,1774, and is recognized as the decisive engagement in a proactive series of Indian wars. The name "Tu-Endie-Wei" is a Wyandotte word meaning "point between two waters."

Prickett’s Fort State Park - Perched on a small rise overlooking the confluence of Prickett's Creek and the Monongahela River, this rustic log fort is a re-creation of the original Prickett's Fort of 1774, which served as a refuge from Native American war parties on the western frontier of Colonial Virginia. Built in 1976 by the Prickett's Fort Memorial Foundation, the "new" fort serves as a living history site where interpreters recreate late 18th century lifestyle through period attire and demonstrations of a variety of colonial crafts. Throughout the season, visitors may find blacksmiths, spinners, weavers and other traditional artisans at work, and a gun shop which features the only public demonstrations of 18th century firearm manufacturing in the state.

Chief Logan State Park - Chief Logan State Park, is in the heart of West Virginia's southern coalfields. Chief Logan State Park is four miles north of the town of Logan. The park and town share the name of the Chief of the Cayuga Tribe (also known as the Mingo tribe).

Seneca State Forest - Oldest of West Virginia's state forests, Seneca borders the beautiful Greenbrier River in Pocahontas County. The forest offers pioneer guest cabins; a four(4) acre lake for trout, bass and bluegill fishing; a small campground and 11,684 acres of lush woodlands for hiking, hunting or communing with nature. The lake and forest are named after the Indian tribe which once roamed the area. Seneca's large size and modest development make it a great place to find peace and solitude.