History

Civil War Weekend

Tryon Palace marks the landmark for North Carolina’s first Capitol Building. The Palace was built for Governor Tryon in 1770 and the Capitol was later relocated to Raleigh in 1778.

Besides being the First State Capitol in North Carolina, New Bern is a town full of history. Here are a few of numerous historical events:

  • James Davis opened the First Printing Press in North Carolina
  • Pepsi was invented in New Bern by Caleb Bradham
  • First Public School in North Carolina
  • First Chartered Fire Department in North Carolina
  • New Bern’s Devastating Fire of 1922

The North Carolina History Center is currently offering Virtual Tours until they reopen.

Learn about the 1862 “Battle of New Bern” by visiting New Bern’s Civil War Battlefield located at the entrance of Taberna (off Hwy 70 E). For details, contact New Bern Historical Society, 512 Pollock St., New Bern, 252-638-8558.

New Bern showcases buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places dating back to the 1700s. The Isaac Taylor House was built in 1792 by Isaac Taylor, the great-great-great-grandfather of musicians Livingston and James Taylor. Union troops arrived in New Bern in 1862 and took hold of the house. The occupants withdrew to the third and fourth floors and remained there for the duration of the war, using a basket with bracket-and-pulley system to transport food and supplies. You can still see the device on the south side of the building.

New Bern’s Historical Homes are well worth the visit to New Bern! Why not stay at one of the “Historical” Bed and Breakfast and experience the history yourself!

New Bern’s Historic Landmarks:

  • Tryon Palace Historic Sites and Gardens, 610 Pollock St., New Bern, 252-514-4900 or 800-767-1560
  • Bellair Plantation, 1100 Washington Post Rd., New Bern, 252-637-3913
  • Birthplace of Pepsi, 256 Middle St., New Bern, 252-636-5898
  • Cedar Grove Cemetery, George St., Greenwood Cemetery, Cyprus St., and New Bern Cemetery, New Bern, 252-639-7515
  • Centenary United Methodist Church, 309 New St., New Bern, 252-637-4181
  • Christ Episcopal Church and Cemetery, 320 Pollock St., New Bern, 252-633-2109
  • City Hall, 300 Pollock St., New Bern, 252-636-4000
  • First Baptist Church, 239 Middle St., New Bern, 252-638-5691
  • First Church of Christ, 406 Middle St., New Bern, 252-638-6269
  • First Presbyterian Church, 418 New St., New Bern, 252-637-3270
  • Hebrew Cemetery, National Ave., New Bern
  • Isaac Taylor House, 228 Craven St., New Bern, 252-649-1712
  • New Bern National Cemetery, 1711 National Ave, New Bern, 252-637-2912
  • Saint Cyprian’s Episcopal Church, 604 Johnson St., New Bern, 252-633-3816
  • Saint Paul’s Roman Catholic Church, 510 Middle St., New Bern
  • Saint Peter’s African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, 604 Johnson St., New Bern, 252-633-3816
  • Temple B’Nai Sholem Synagogue, 505 Middle St., New Bern, 252-638-4545

Museums:

  • Attmore-Oliver Civil War House Museum, 510 Pollock St., New Bern, 252-638-8558
  • New Bern Fireman’s Museum, 408 Hancock St., New Bern, 252-636-4087
  • New Bern Academy Museum, located at the corner of New and Hancock Sts.
  • USMC Aviation Exhibit, 201 Tourist Center Drive, Havelock, 252-444-4348

Tours:

  • New Bern Tours and Convention Services, 333 Middle St., New Bern, 252-637-7316 or 800-849-7316
  • Walking Tours, Tryon Palace, Corner of Pollock and George Sts., New Bern, 252-514-4900 or 800-767-1560
  • Self-Guided African American Heritage Tour sponsored by the Craven County Convention and Visitors Center, 252-637-9400
  • Trail of Flames Historical Tour of the Great Fire of 1922, New Bern, 252-288-5716

New Bern’s Historical Resources:

Note: If you notice important historical facts about New Bern that have been left out, please send an Email and they will be added.

Jonkonnu - rag man

Celebrating Jonkonnu

November 22, 2021

Tryon Palace will be participating in a program with the Charlotte Museum of History on Jonkonnu, one of North Carolina’s most unique Christmas celebrations. During the 1800’s, enslaved Jamaican and African people in North Carolina celebrated Jonkonnu, one night of freedom during the Christmas holiday season when they could express their religious and cultural traditions. […]

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The Ledger - New Bern Now's Magazine

Last Call for New Bern’s Community Magazine Submissions

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Experience Tryon Palace’s Candlelight Holiday Celebration

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Tryon Palace invites you to the Governor’s Palace to experience the beauty, joy, and magic of the season at North Carolina’s first State Capitol. Tickets are on sale now for Tryon Palace’s Candlelight Holiday Celebration on two consecutive Saturdays in December, the 11th and 18th, beginning at 4:30 pm, and ending each night at 9:30 […]

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November 4, 2021

Around Town Month of November, the Shop Class (DIY Community Workshop) is offering the following classes: Beginning Woodworking (both evening and morning classes); Introduction to Welding; Hand Tool Workshop; Woodturning. Visit ShopClass-NB.com for more info. Congratulations to Bella’s Cafe & Catering on their 3-year anniversary! Amy Lynn, owner of Cravin’ Wine told us that they […]

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Greenwood Cemetery in New Bern, NC

Veterans Graves Get Much-Needed Attention

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The American Legion Post 539 is cleaning the graves located in Greenwood Cemetery. A bit of backstory: Greenwood is a historically black cemetery in New Bern. It is overrun with weeds and does not receive consistent (or any) care. Every year, flags and wreaths are placed in the National Cemetery to recognize veterans. This courtesy, […]

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Historical Society Offers 31st Annual Ghostwalk – “The Skeletons in Our Closets”

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Ghostwalk is back! For the 31st year in a row the New Bern Historical Society will conjure up historic characters from bygone days who will tell you all their secrets with “The Skeletons in our Closets.” Local costumed actors will portray some of the most spirited characters and stories from New Bern’s past, appearing October […]

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Weekend Happenings In and Around New Bern: October 21 – 24, 2021

October 21, 2021

Around Town For the month of October, The Tryon Civitan Club with the help of The Emerald Golf & Country Club, is sponsoring a Peanut Butter Drive to benefit Religious Community Services. Peanut butter can be dropped off at the Emerald. —–> We’re accepting submissions for our new Youth Section. Get more details here. Starting […]

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Lawson's on the Creek at the North Carolina History Center (Photo by: Richard and David Williamson)

Business Buzz: “Lawson’s on the Creek” — Café with NC Craft Beer and Wine

October 19, 2021

Update: In an email between Richard and David Williamson and New Bern Now, they said, “‘Lawson’s on the Creek’ just seemed to jump out at us since we are right on Lawson’s Creek. it was just too good to pass up.” The soft opening was yesterday, October 18, 2021. The Tryon Palace Foundation is excited […]

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Photo from a previous gathering of the 5th and 7th NC Regiments

Living History Display at New Bern Battlefield Park

October 14, 2021

Have you ever wondered what life was like in your great-grandfather’s time? Here is an opportunity to find out.  Re-enactors from the 5th and 7th NC Infantry Regiments will set up a full period camp at New Bern Battlefield Park Saturday, Nov. 20 and it will be open to the public at no charge, from […]

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National Society Daughter of the American Revolution

Native American Heritage Month Recognized by DAR

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