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>Monument Project to Honor the Families of New Bern and Craven County

>We are making progress with regard to the Monument project. Recently, group members Mr. Charles Daniels Freeman, Mrs. Claudia Parker Hughes and myself met with the City of New Bern Planning Department (Mr. Michael Avery and Ms. Annette Stone), the Parks and Recreation Department (Mr. Thurman Hardison) and Alderlady Mrs. Sabrina Bengel.

After exploring and discussing several options, Alderlady Mrs. Bengel suggested the area between Christ Church and City Hall. While it is not the obelisk at Union Point that we had proposed, we came to a consensus that the area would be a better and more appropriate place for a monument pending the approval of the Board of Aldermen and the Historic Preservation Commission. In the new proposed location, we will have more room to tell the story of the groups who have lived here from the early times to the present. I have also spoken with a great many of our group’s members and they also are in agreement with this new idea.

Ms. Stone suggested that the area could be designed so that it would be pedestrian friendly and that the park and a monument could be designed to focus on the history of the people of the area. She and Mr. Avery said that this was in line with the goals of the City Planning Department to design pocket parks throughout the City. There are two existing monuments in the proposed location: the Baron de Graffenried monument and a plaque in honor of Mr. James Davis, North Carolina’s first printer both of which will be incorporated into the design of the new park area.

On Wednesday of last week, we presented the idea of the park and monument to the Historic Preservation Commission and they are in agreement in concept for the area to be developed into a park to focus on the history of the families and of the area.

The next step for us will be to attend the Board of Aldermen work session on Tuesday, May 18th at 6pm at the Carolina Colours Pavilion to address any questions or concerns they may have.

Also, I received a call from New Bern City Manager Mr. Ed Wyatt and he believes that the resolution (endorsing the park and monument and the establishing of the monument fund) will then be adopted at the regular Board of Aldermen meeting on Tuesday, May 25th at 7pm at City Hall.

We appreciate Alderlady Bengel, Mr. Wyatt and the City of New Bern Staff for working with us to arrive at a solution about the monument project.

Here are a few shots of the area for you to see. (These can be downloaded via this Link) Also, if you have time to stop by the area, please do so that you can get a feel for it. Any ideas or suggestions are greatly welcomed and appreciated. We will talk more about it at our next meeting on Saturday, May 15th at 2pm at the New Bern-Craven County Public Library.

Also attached is the updated proposal and resolution that has a few minor changes the City suggested mainly that we specify that the land is City owned.

We would also like to extend our thanks and appreciation to the Craven County Board of Commissioners who unanimously endorsed our group’s monument project at their last meeting.

All the Best,

David French, 252-649-0102

Please see the below links for more information:

Heritage Park and Monument Proposal

The Families of New Bern & Craven County August Event Overview