Grave Creek Mound

trees on top of grave creek mound
Trees growing atop Grave Creek Mound in Moundsville, West Virginia

Photo by Tim Kiser

Quick Facts

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Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex is the largest of the Adena Burial mounds, having been constructed between 250 and 150 B.C. In 1838 the the mound was measured as being 69 feet tall, and 295 feet in diameter. The Adena are credited with being the first group of Mound Builders in North America, having emerged at about 1000 B.C. to 1 A.D. Their societies were present in areas now known as West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and New York.

On September 10, 1803, Meriwether Lewis visited Grave Creek Mound. He describe the mound and its surrounding area:

“...This remarkable mound of earth stands on the east bank of the Ohio 12 miles below Wheeling and about 700 paces from the river, as the land is not cleard the mound is not visible from the river—this mound gives name to two small creeks called little and big grave creek which passing about a half a mile on each side of it & fall into ohio about a mile distant from each other the small creek is above, the mound stands on the most elivated ground of a large bottom containing about 4000 acres of land…”


Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

Last updated: December 30, 2021