Q: What do Cultural Heritage, Public Archaeology, and Tourism have in Common?

A: The Living History Village at Catawba Meadows Park, Burke Co.

The Exploring Joara Foundation invites the public, young and old, from near and far, to be a part of discovering our nation’s past. Did you know that Native Americans settled in Burke County as early as 15,000 years ago? Did you know that Fort San Juan was built in 1567 by Spanish soldiers at a Native American Town named Joara, located eight miles north of Morganton? Did you know that Fort San Juan was built nearly 20 years before The Lost Colony, 40 years before Jamestown, and 53 years before the Mayflower landed in Plymouth?

Our story is literally changing history books!

The Exploring Joara Foundation offers engaging, hands-on learning to share our story with Burke County residents, school groups and visitors. We deliver programs at the Living History Village at Catawba Meadows Park, the Berry archaeological site, and in classrooms across western North Carolina.

This year’s Giving Tuesday donations will help EJF perform some much-needed¬†updates to the Living History Village. EJF constructed the Living History Village to help the community imagine the historic site that once existed there. You will find two Native American replicated dwellings surrounded by a palisade, several informational kiosks, Native American and colonial gardens, and a large park shelter for programs. This is where we provide a huge portion of our programs and events. Adding to and preserving this site will help EJF to better tell this incredible story.

Since 2009, EJF staff and volunteers have engaged with more than 27,000 visitors and school children of all ages to tell our story. Our mission is to build on the excitement we have created and continue to invite everyone to be a part of this exploration. We have much of our past to uncover and many more stories to tell. Your support will help EJF grow our programming to be sure that our important history is shared. Please help us imagine our future through discovering our past.



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