April 12, 1974: Archeologist Delf Norona Dies in Moundsville

Apr 12, 2017

Archeologist Delf Norona died in Moundsville on April 12, 1974, just before his 79th birthday. Born in Hong Kong, Norona spent much of his early life in the Philippine Islands.

Norona is remembered for his important contributions to West Virginia history and archaeology, particularly relating to the Grave Creek Mound in Marshall County.
Credit E-WV / WV Humanities Council

A British subject, he emigrated to Canada and then to the United States, where he served in the U.S. Army during World War I. In 1930, he moved to West Virginia.

Norona is remembered for his important contributions to West Virginia history and archaeology, particularly relating to the Grave Creek Mound in Marshall County. He helped found the West Virginia Archaeological Society in 1949 and played a key role in building the Mound Museum at Moundsville in 1952. He served as the museum’s curator until the day of his death.

Norona was the first recipient of the Sigfus Olafson Award for his outstanding contributions to West Virginia archeology. He wrote numerous articles for the West Virginia History and West Virginia Archeologist journals, and was president of the West Virginia Historical Society and secretary of the American Philatelic Society. The modern museum at Grave Creek Mound in Moundsville is named in Delf Norona’s honor.