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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:

Please call ahead as they may be temporarily closed due to COVID-19.

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

In the Now – April 11, 2021

April 11, 2021

  Good morning, New Bern Now readers. Here is your Sunday morning briefing. Today’s forecast: Cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly sunny, with a high near 82. West wind around 9 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Tonight, a chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 11 p.m. Partly cloudy, with a low around 56. South wind 6 to 8 mph, with gusts as high as 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms. Looking ahead, Monday, sunny, with a high near 79. […]

In the Now – April 10, 2021

April 10, 2021

Good Saturday morning, New Bern Now readers. Here is your morning briefing. Today’s forecast: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 2 p.m. Mostly sunny, with a high near 81. Light south wind increasing to 6 to 11 mph in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.   Sunrise is 6:42 a.m., sunset is at 7:37 p.m.  Happening Today 10th: Hallowed Ground Lantern Tour, 6 – 9 p.m. at the New Bern Battlefield Park. […]

Hallowed Ground Lantern Tour names Neuse River Region Association of Realtors title sponsor

April 8, 2021

When the New Bern Historical Society sought community partners for a brand-new storytelling event, the Hallowed Ground Lantern Tour, the Neuse River Region Association of Realtors (NRRAR) stepped up. “We set out to develop a new and intriguing experience at New Bern Battlefield Park which will tell moving human stories of those on both sides of the conflict,” Historical Society Executive Director Mickey Miller said. “We were thrilled when NRRAR Board Member Lori Favre of Encore Homes Realty championed our efforts and Darlene Spivey, Association Director of NRRAR made the partnership happen. The Association has a strong history of civic […]

Park Day 2021

Lend a Hand for History, Park Day Saturday, April 10

March 31, 2021

New Bern Battlefield Park and American Battlefield Trust Invite Volunteers You are invited to join New Bern Battlefield Park and the American Battlefield Trust in the 25th anniversary of Park Day, an annual hands-on preservation event to help Civil War, Revolutionary War, and War of 1812 battlefields and historic sites take on maintenance projects large and small. This year on April 10, New Bern’s Battlefield Park will once again join in this national event.  Battlefield Manager, Jon Miller explains, “While our beautiful park reflects the work of many volunteers from Battlefield Guides clearing trails, to Boy Scouts building observation platforms […]

U.S. Colored Troops 35th Regiment

History of Ancestors: U.S. Colored Troops 35th Regiment (USCT) Community Event

March 27, 2021

Free Event on April 24, 2021 from noon to 3 p.m. on the Big Field at Craven Terrace in New Bern. Did you know that nearly one tenth of the entire Union Army consisted of USCT soldiers? With a mission to promote the role of African Americans in their fight for freedom during the Civil War, the 35th USCT Re-enactment Troop gathers and interprets the stories of real men who served as solders in the original regiment – some as told by their actual descendants! The USCT provides an enlightening educational platform for the public and scholars to discover and […]

Foreign Officers visit Battlefield Park

Foreign Officers Visit, Learn at New Bern Battlefield Park

March 23, 2021

One of the subjects military officers’ study is history and the why’s and how’s of past military actions.  Recently field grade military officers from 10 foreign countries, visited New Bern Battlefield Park to do just that and learn about the Battle of New Bern. They are currently serving as their country’s military representative to the United States Marine Corps. They and their families are stationed in Quantico, Virginia, and were afforded the opportunity by the Combat Development & Integration (CD&I), Marine Corps Base Quantico, to visit U.S. military bases and points of military interest such as American battlefields. Site manager […]

ABC Sale 2021

Success Cancels Second Mini ABC Yard Sale

March 19, 2021

March 27th Date Pulled The New Bern Historical Society is thrilled to be so successful. The Mini ABC Yard Sale that was held this past Saturday at the New Bern Battlefield Park Pavilion brought in so many people and sold so much of the collection, that the second scheduled sale on March 27 has been cancelled. Organizers were pleased to see so many people at Battlefield Park, all helping observe COVID-19 precautions. Executive Director Mickey Miller is grateful: “We want to thank all our wonderful donors, tireless supporters, and enthusiastic shoppers that have brought major success to this fundraiser. Although […]

New Bern's Civil War Past

Hallowed Ground Lantern Tour

March 11, 2021

New Bern Battlefield Park to Host Exciting New Storytelling Event The New Bern Historical Society invites you to an exciting new storytelling event, the Hallowed Ground Lantern Tour, April 9 & 10, 6-9pm. New Bern Battlefield Park, site of the first Battle of New Bern, is host to this intriguing new storytelling event. The tour takes you on a 60-minute guided, lantern-lit walk through the wooded battlefield trails, where spirits from New Bern’s Civil War past will tell you their very human stories of courage and conviction. You’ll meet a proud Medal of Honor winner from the Battle of New […]

Tryon Palace

Tryon Palace Presents New Exhibit: Celebrating 250 Years

March 5, 2021

“A Lasting Monument: Creating North Carolina’s First Permanent Capitol March 6, Tryon Palace will present its new exhibit, “A Lasting Monument: Creating North Carolina’s First Permanent Capitol,” in the Duffy Gallery of the North Carolina History Center. The exhibit celebrates 250 years of Governor Tryon’s Palace, from 1770 to 2020. One of North Carolina’s most beautiful historic landmarks, the story of this elegant Georgian-style structure reveals a complex, multi-faceted journey through North Carolina’s history beginning in Colonial America as the Royal Governor’s residence and administrative building, and triumphing over tragedy through decades of American change, destruction and perseverance. The exhibit explores the process of establishing […]

New Bern Women

March with Women of New Bern’s History

March 4, 2021

New Bern Historical Society Celebrates Women’s History Month A soldier, a doctor, a photographer, a social activist, a groundbreaking nurse. These and many other amazing women called New Bern home. The New Bern Historical Society invites you to meet these ladies online as we celebrate March as Women’s History Month. The first group, we’ve called Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Deeds. They can be found at NewBernHistorical.org/virtual-programs. Celebrate the accomplishments of New Bern’s history makers with a virtual visit from five remarkable women. From the 19th and 20th centuries and varied walks of life, these women will share their inspiring stories in […]