History in the Making

Creating the First Peoples of Stanly County Exhibit

When initially planning the exhibit on the history of Stanly County’s earliest settlers, I intended to create a collaborative exhibit with different institutions in the area. After making initial contact with the other institutions, including Morrow Mountain State Park, Oakboro Museum, Rankin Museum, Pfeiffer University, and Matt Steed of Seven Gables Furniture and Design, they all acted very generously towards loaning objects for exhibition. The exhibit would be the same without these loans that greatly accompany the artifacts from our own institution, so a special thanks goes out to all who helped in this process!

As a county museum, we strive to interpret the history of Stanly County, while also brining in regional stories of significance. Creating a regional story proved useful in generating a cultural narrative regarding Native American history to accompany the archaeological story of the Hardaway Site, Town Creek Burial Mound, and Lowder’s Ferry Sites. These highly important archaeological sites give detail into how Indians lived during the archaic period in the piedmont region.

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The exhibit entails artifacts dating back over 7000 – 8000 years old, including, spear points, arrow points and hammerstones. Also, there are various pieces of pottery from the Cherokee nation, and the Pee Dee culture. These artifacts reveal information about the lifestyles of Native American culture prior to agricultural lifestyles and permanent settlement. We would love for you to come out and learn about the first peoples of Stanly County!