Amazing History At Lake Phelps & Pettigrew State Park

Looking for some information about Lake Phelps & Pettigrew State Park in Washington County, where a massive wildfire rages, I came across some amazing history.

Lake Phelps and Pettigrew State Park in Washington County are in the news right now because of the wildfire burning there.  But history buffs are probably very familiar with the N.C. State Park.

Lake Phelps is the state's second largest natural lake and is quite a mystery.  The park's website says the lake is believed to be more than 38,000 years old.  How did it get there?  Theories range from underground springs, meteor showers, glaciers, even wind and waves.  But what I found even more amazing are the artifacts found there.

Archaeologists discovered a collection of at least 30 canoes sunken in the lake.  One of them is 4,400 years old.  The park's website says another of the canoes is radiocarbon dated to 2400 B.C.  Some of the canoes are on display at the park's information center.

Today the park is used for many recreational purposes.  Let's hope the flames spare the wildlife and natural beauty of this park, so many more people can discover what a true treasure it is to North Carolina.


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  • by Derek Lewis Location: Raleigh, NC on Jun 9, 2010 at 10:08 AM
    As a past native of Washington NC I have been fishing Phelps for over 38 years. I have never seen an alligator in Phelps. I remember hearing old stories about someone attempting to capture one in the cypress trees on the west side. I do think however, with the number of alligators around the alligator river it is only a matter of time before one shows up in Phelps.
  • by mark Location: moyock on Jun 26, 2008 at 09:48 AM
    Are there any alligators in Lake Phelps?

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