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.

Weeping Arch Gate

Earl of Craven Questers Offer Free Daytime Cemetery Tours

October 21, 2019

Historical Society Ghostwalk Sees You Through in the Evening New Bern, NC – While the New Bern Historical Society is preparing for Ghostwalk evenings on Oct.24 – 26, the Earl of Craven Questers are offering special free daytime tours of Cedar Grove Cemetery on Fri & Sat, Oct 25 – 26 at 2pm. To take the tour, meet at the Weeping Arch cemetery main gate on Queen Street at 2pm on Friday, Oct. 25, or Saturday, Oct. 26. Tours will start from there. Reservations are not required, and the tour is free, although donations will be gratefully accepted.  Learn ghostly […]

Ghostwalk Spirited Ladies

Historical Society’s 29th Ghostwalk Appears October 24 – 26

October 14, 2019

Spirited Skirts Headline the Apparitions NEW BERN, NC – For the 29th year in a row, lively historic spirits and specters return to New Bern at the behest of the New Bern Historical Society.  Each Ghostwalk the Historical Society brings a whole new batch of characters from New Bern’s colorful and varied past to tell you their stories right in the very places they might have been seen in life. Don’t worry though, all these spirits are from history, not scary ones from science fiction. This year’s theme is “Spirited Skirts and the Shadows they Cast”.  Watch for intriguing women […]

English Speaking Union

The History of Downtown New Bern’s Renaissance

October 11, 2019

The History of Downtown New Bern’s Renaissance, presented by Susan Moffat-Thomas, is a luncheon program that will be held on Thursday, October 24, 11:30 am, at the Chelsea Restaurant. The cost for the luncheon is $18 for members, $22 non-members, with a menu choice of shrimp and grits, baked salmon or chicken bruschetta. To reserve a place, send a check made out to: ESU NC Colonial Branch along with menu choice to P.O. Box 645, New Bern, NC 28563. Deadline for receiving reservations is October 21. Moffat-Thomas, retired Executive Director, Swiss Bear Downtown Development Corp., will provide an overview of […]

New Bern Now Podsquad

New Bern Now and Beyond Podcast for October 3, 2019

October 4, 2019

Episode 126 Connecting you with our community as we talk about the people, places, and the latest happenings in and around New Bern! During the show we talked about community news from locals; along with businesses and nonprofits! We also went Staytrippin’, Daytrippin’, and Nighttrippin’! During this show, New Bern Now’s Podsquad: Colleen Roberts (City of New Bern), Kathy Morrison (New Bern Historical Society), Rich Sheridan (Crystal Coast Discovery Map), Susan Moffat-Thomas, Charles Tendell (New Bern Live), with and I talked about the latest happening in our community on location in the Charles Tendell Studio located inside the O’Marks Bldg., 233 […]

German U-boat crew as POWs. (Credit: NCpedia)

The Last POW – Encore

October 4, 2019

Popular Historical Society Event Repeats Nov. 6 NEW BERN, NC – It was sold out nearly 30 days in advance!  Folks really want to hear Steve Tyson’s presentation, The Last POW, so the New Bern Historical Society will host a second offering on Wednesday, November 6 at 6:30pm at the North Carolina History Center in Cullman Performance Hall. Tickets are available for $10 at the Historical Society at 511 Broad St., 252-638-8558 or at NewBernHistorical.org/tickets. It is a compelling story. There were about 500 German and Italian POWs here in New Bern at Camp Battle for two years during World […]

Things to do in and around New Bern NC

Things to do in and around New Bern: Oct 3 – 10, 2019

October 3, 2019

Arts Around Town 4th: The Last Suit, 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at Orringer Auditorium. Presented by the Lifetime Learning Center at Craven Community College. Call 252-633-2618. 4th: NC Radio Jam, 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at the New Bern Farmers Market. 4th: An Evening of Mozart & Elgar with Conductor Wesley Schulz, 7:00 p.m. at Temple Church. Presented by The North Carolina Symphony. Call 919-733-2750. 4th: ArtWalk – New Bern, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., presented by the Craven Arts Council at the Bank of the Arts, Greater Good Gallery, and numerous locations in Downtown and around New Bern. 252-638-2577. 4th – 5th: […]

New Bern Now Magazine - 4th Qtr 2019

Read New Bern Now’s Magazine (Oct – Dec 2019) Online – Coming Soon in Print

October 1, 2019

Check out New Bern Now’s Magazine for October – December, 2019. It will hit the streets soon! The Interactive Edition is available now, view it here. Read feature articles about Michaelé Rose Watson: Rebirth of The Crystal Lady; Howard Matthews – “New Bern’s Music Man”; Award Winning Author Michelle Garren Flye; and Capt Kevin Dewar – Neuse River Fishing Report. See our regular articles to include Arts, History, Outdoor Adventures, Things to Do, Quality of Life, Business, Dining, and much more! It also has a Wall Calendar and Downtown Map! New Bern Now’s Magazine (formerly known as the Ledger) has gone […]

City Hall Clock Tower by Dave Cowles

Things to do in and around New Bern: Sept 26 – Oct 3, 2019

September 26, 2019

Arts Around Town 27th – 29th: Disney “Alice in Wonderland” JR, Fri – Sat: 7:30 p.m.; Sun: 3:00 p.m. at the Masonic Theatre. Presented by RiverTowne Players. Call 252-633-3318. 28th: Walk-In Bathtub’s Improvised Comedy Show, 7:30 p.m. at the New Bern Civic Theatre. Call 252-633-0567. Community Engagement Sept 26th – Oct 6th: Craven County Fair at the Craven County Fairgrounds. 27th: Date Night Movies in the Park: The Wedding Singer, 8:45 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. at Union Point Park. Presented by New Bern Parks and Recreation. 252-639-2901. 28th: Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event, 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Carteret County Health Department, 3820 […]

New Bern King Solomon Lodge BEFORE

Preservation Project Begins on King Solomon’s Lodge

September 26, 2019

First African American Masonic Lodge in North Carolina Getting Needed Restoration Support New Bern, NC – King Solomon’s Lodge #1 and the New Bern Preservation Foundation are partnering to do a historic restoration on the lodge meeting place originally known as Drayton’s Hall. The Foundation is working with Lodge members to apply for grants and raise funds for a restoration of this important historic building. The initial phase of the project will deal with exterior stabilization and restoration. This includes roof repair, siding repair, reconstruction of window frames and sashes, and removal of the cinder block sheathing around the brick […]

Carole More and Henry Libby

Third Annual Gingerbread House Contest

September 25, 2019

Classes Oct. 7 & 16, Entry Deadline November 11th  for New Bern Historical Society Event NEW BERN, NC – We have arrived at the time of year for pumpkin spice lattes and back-to-school.  That means it is time to think Gingerbread! The New Bern Historical Society invites you to fire up your imagination and prepare for the Third Annual Gingerbread House Contest and Display.  For the past two years, gingerbread houses scattered in windows throughout the downtown area have delighted the shopping crowds. Displays made by all kinds of folks from children’s groups to professional bakers have enlivened the holiday […]