Discovering our Past

Since 2008, the Exploring Joara Foundation, EJF, has invited the public, young and old, from near and far, to be a part of discovering our nation’s past. We have been a visible civic partner entrusted with engaging the community in helping us tell our story. This story has evolved over time from arrowheads found on local farmlands to the discovery of the Spanish Fort San Juan. Our story is literally changing history books. Did you know that nearly 20 years before The Lost Colony, 40 years before Jamestown, and 53 years before the Mayflower landed in Plymouth, the Spaniard Juan Pardo had built a series of six forts from the coast of South Carolina into the mountains of east Tennessee?

EJF offers engaging, hands-on learning opportunities to share our story. We are so excited to deliver more public programs at the Berry archaeological site, the Living History Village at Catawba Meadows Park, and in classrooms across western North Carolina.

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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