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.

Giving Tuesday - Tryon Palace

Tryon Palace Participates in Local and Global Giving Tuesday Efforts

November 27, 2020

Giving Tuesday looks a little different this year, and Tryon Palace is on board for this unique approach to this special day when we are called to make a gift to causes near and dear to their hearts. Tryon Palace is participating in the global Giving Tuesday initiative and local Giving Tuesday events. All Giving Tuesday efforts will be available online and on social media platforms at tryonpalace.org/donate-now, instagram.com/tryonpalace and facebook.com/tryonpalace. Patrons’ support will go towards Tryon Palace’s continued efforts in preserving historic collection pieces, supporting their mission to connect all generations to North Carolina History. Please show your support of Tryon Palace’s mission and work on […]

Tryon Palace Museum Store

Tryon Palace’s Museum Store Celebrates Museum Store Sunday

November 19, 2020

On Sunday, November 29, 2020, more than 1,400 museum stores representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia, 22 countries, and five continents will offer inspired shopping at museums and cultural institutions during Museum Store Sunday. The Museum Store at Tryon Palace is thrilled to participate in this signature annual initiative, now in its fourth year, and will be offering a special discount of 25% off all purchases over ten dollars to all patrons who shop on that day. “We are thrilled to be participating in this global event to bring recognition to museum stores and the institutions they support,” […]

New Bern Now Podsquad - Episode 165

Living in New Bern and Beyond – Episode 165

November 16, 2020

Preparing for Holiday Celebrations during the Pandemic We’re connecting you with the people, places, and local resources in New Bern, NC and surrounding areas! The Podsquad: George Oliver (Oliver & Cheek), Kathy Morrison (New Bern Historical Society), Colleen Roberts (City of New Bern), and I talked about all kinds of things related to living in the greater New Bern area. We were joined by Special Guests: Kevin Yates and Darlene Brown. Watch: Listen:  Show notes: 00:48 – Trivia Contest Question 2:46 – Gingerbread House Contest 6:45 – Banjoy 7:35 – Fuller’s Music 9:51 – Citywide Giveaway 12:00 – North […]

Rita DeSanno

Intro to Gingerbread House Construction at Craven Community College

November 12, 2020

Class Set for Nov. 14, in Partnership with New Bern Historical Society Looking for good old-fashioned holiday cheer? Remembering a gingerbread house from your childhood? Need a family-oriented project? Consider the Introduction to Gingerbread House Building Class offered at Craven Community College in partnership with New Bern Historical Society. The class will meet Saturday, November 14 at 10 a.m. at the Craven County Campus. This is a perfect way to get started and gain confidence. The 1½ hour class will teach construction basics that will ensure that your house will stand up to the season. This is a demonstration class […]

Wreaths Across America - New Bern

Wreaths Across America – New Bern

November 12, 2020

As each day passes, we are getting closer to Wreaths Across America Day, Saturday, December 19, 2020. Our wreath count continues to grow, we currently have over 1,000 wreaths sponsored. While that number isn’t where we would like it to be, considering all the restrictions this year, we are doing well. Due to the restrictions being placed upon the cemetery due to COVID-19, this year’s Wreaths Across America event will look very different than we are accustomed to. There will not be a traditional ceremony, guest speaker, etc. Only 50 people will be allowed in the cemetery at a time. Masks must be worn […]

Veterans Day at Tryon Palace

Tryon Palace is Honoring Veterans with Free Garden Passes

November 5, 2020

On Wednesday, November 11, for Veteran’s Day, Tryon Palace is honoring all who serve or have served our country in the military. There will be Free Garden Passes for all active duty and military veterans and their spouses and dependent children. Executive Director, Bill McCrea says “Tryon Palace appreciates the service of veterans and the sacrifices of their families. We welcome the immediate family of veterans to enjoy the Palace Gardens as a brief respite from the stress of the day.” The gardens are open from 10 a.m. – 5 a.m. on Veteran’s Day. The Palace is open and available for […]

Eagle Scouts - Troop 13

Eagle Scout Project Provides Bridge Extension at New Bern Battlefield Park

October 26, 2020

The New Bern Historical Society’s Battlefield Park is the very appreciative beneficiary of the latest Eagle Scout Project. Eagle Scout candidate Jonathan Swimmer of New Bern Troop 13, Centenary Methodist, recently completed a service project as part of his requirements to achieve scouting’s highest rank, Eagle Scout. He planned and organized the construction of a bridge extension spanning a swampy area in the New Bern Battlefield Park which will allow visitors to safely traverse and see an important part of the Civil War battlefield. He raised funds and acquired materials needed for building the extension and he supervised a group […]

Ghostwalk New Bern 2020

30th Annual Ghostwalk: Both Live and Virtual

October 14, 2020

New Bern Historical Society Event Adapts for Safety Yes, the New Bern Historical Society knows where all the skeletons in New Bern are buried!  And they’ll share some of those hidden secrets during the 30th Annual Ghostwalk, “Tales from the Underground,” October 22 – 24. This year’s Ghostwalk will bring you the same great 13 vignettes featuring some of New Bern’s most intriguing historical characters telling their fascinating tales. But with the challenges and restrictions of the pandemic in place, you can expect major changes in the structure of this year’s event. A safely reimagined, all-outdoor Live Ghostwalk will take […]

Tryon Palace Hosts All Hallows’ Eve

October 13, 2020

Dress in costume and join us for a day of fun and fantasy at Tryon Palace’s All Hallows’ Eve, on Saturday, October 24th. Children and adults are invited to celebrate in the festivities beginning at 10 a.m. on the Palace grounds. While touring the haunted grounds, attendees might encounter the Headless Horseman as he searches for Ichabod Crane, the Ghost of a Soldier lost in battle, and a Witch brewing up a savory concoction or spell. Come see what the Creepy Blacksmith is making and just who the Scarecrow in the Garden might try to scare – just a little. Join in watching the […]

Weeping Arch

Earl of Craven Questers Offer Free Daytime Cemetery Tours

October 12, 2020

Historical Society Ghostwalk Sees You Through in the Evening While the New Bern Historical Society is preparing for Ghostwalk evenings on October 22 – 24, the Earl of Craven Questers organization is offering special free daytime tours of Cedar Grove Cemetery on Friday, October 23 and Saturday, October 24 at 2 p.m.  Come and discover interesting facts about historic figures that are buried there such as who founded a free school for poor children and orphans of New Bern. Who designed the first Pepsi Cola trademark?  Who wrote the NC state song, “The Old North State?”  Who was a leading […]