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A scenic view at Historic Bath

Late last month, Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz made her first visit to North Carolina’s first town, Bath.

While visiting the quaint Beaufort County town, the Secretary attended a meeting of the Historic Bath Commission, led by chairperson Peggy Daw, and toured Historic Bath State Historic Site—which the commission helps the department maintain. While at the meeting, Secretary Kluttz emphasized the invaluable service that the commission members provide and shared how she has tried to the spread the word about the importance of history to our state’s economy and quality of life during her tenure.

Secretary Kluttz next to the Palmer-Marsh House at Historic Bath

Secretary Kluttz next to the Palmer-Marsh House at Historic Bath

On the tour, Secretary Kluttz enjoyed Bath’s picturesque views, especially the spot where Back Creek flows into the Pamlico River and the front porch of the 1830 Bonner House. She also was able to see the popular Queen Anne’s Revenge: 1718 exhibit in the town where Blackbeard once lived.

Though Secretary Kluttz didn’t quite have the time to give the beautiful site the full tour that it deserves, the Secretary promised Site Manager Leigh Swain that her first visit to North Carolina’s first town wouldn’t be her last.

Historic Bath hosts a spectacular Christmas Open House during the holiday season, but there are plenty of reasons for you to visit, including daily tours of the site’s many historic buildings, before then.

Secretary Kluttz and Town Creek Indian Mound Site Manager Rich Thompson climb the mound at the Town Creek Indian Mound

Secretary Kluttz and Town Creek Indian Mound Site Manager Rich Thompson climb the mound at the Town Creek Indian Mound

There aren’t many places in North Carolina—or the country, even—where you can see the power of archaeology more than at Town Creek Indian Mound in Montgomery County.

Archaeologists led by UNC’s Dr. Joffre Coe began working on the site in the late 1930s, and it’s through Coe’s lifelong commitment to the area and to Native American archaeology that Town Creek was able to open as North Carolina’s first state historic site in 1955. It’s also because of Coe’s efforts that the site now has reconstructed buildings that show what the area would have been like for the Pee Dee civilization thousands of years ago.

Secretary Kluttz helps cut the cake for Dr. Coe's birthday birthday party

Secretary Kluttz helps cut the cake for Dr. Coe’s birthday birthday party

Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz joined site staff and dozens from the community last month to celebrate what would’ve been Coe’s 98th birthday if he was still alive. After cutting a cake and enjoying a piece with local scout and 4-H groups, the Secretary toured this unique site. She especially enjoyed seeing the cutaway walls which many of the buildings have to help visitors see how the Pee Dee Indians would’ve originally built them.

One of the most exciting discoveries that Secretary Kluttz learned of while at Town Creek is that the work isn’t finished yet. Researchers from North Carolina universities are still excavating areas of the site, and they‘ve just recently uncovered some new buildings.

If you haven’t yet been, Town Creek Indian Mound is certainly worth a visit. Located about an hour and half from Raleigh, Fayetteville, the Triad and Charlotte, the site is an easy drive from just about anywhere in Piedmont.

Join Tryon Palace Saturday for the re-enactment of a duel of historical proportions.

A new exhibition of drawings in Raleigh, a kayak tour of the Crystal Coast in Beaufort and a smoke-filled duel reenacment in New Bern are just of few of the opportunities for fun and discovery you’ll find this weekend with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

The weekend kicks off Thursday when the staff from the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh will read kids a tall tale after taking a short tour of one of the museum’s wonderful galleries. At the coast, the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort will lead a kayak tour highlighting the beautiful nature and fascinating history of the area, before the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras hosts a local duck decoy craftsmen for demonstrations of his trade.

Friday, the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh will be open late for visitors to browse its galleries after dark with the smooth jazz stylings of Peter Lamb and the Wolves in the background.

Gun smoke will fill the air Saturday morning at Tryon Palace in New Bern as the site reenacts the famed, lethal duel between political rivals John Stanly and Richard Dobbs Spaight, before Historic Stagville in Durham teaches visitors the cooking techniques that enslaved African Americans once used. The N.C. Museum of Art will screen the award-winning drama 12 Years a Slave in its Museum Park Saturday evening.

This weekend is your last chance to check out the popular Bull City Summer exhibition at the N.C. Museum of Art and the Cedars in the Pines exhibit at the N.C. Museum of History. This weekend is also your first chance to see Line, Touch, Trace at the N.C. Museum of Art, which features drawings by 13 contemporary North Carolina artists.

Though most of our historic sites and museums are closed for the Labor Day holiday Monday, Tryon Palace in New Bern, Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo and theBattleship North Carolina in Wilmington will all be open for business.

Check out DCR’s calendar for more information on these and other events, and a enjoy a great North Carolina weekend!

The back-to-school season is now officially upon us, which means before too long it’ll be time for that time-honored tradition of helping your kids with homework that might be just as much of a challenge for you as it is for them.

Have no fear! Our fantastic educational resources cover just about every topic related to the history, art and culture of the Old North State, and most of them are available online and for free to help you avoid headaches when helping your kids with their history or art homework this school year.

Here are few places to start:

  1. Our Cultural Resources Educational Tool has put all of the educational materials produced by our 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, historic preservation office, archaeology office, highway markers program, State Library, State Archives, N.C. Symphony and N.C. Arts Council in one place. Check out this tool to search thousands of articles, research guides, multimedia pieces and more by topic, historical era, grade level and keyword.
  2. NCpedia.org is a free, online encyclopedia about North Carolina. Produced by the State Library, NCpedia includes entries from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography and the Encyclopedia of North Carolina, among other popular reference materials to cover just about any topic you can think of related to the Tar Heel State.
  3. From the origins of the Lost Colony myth to Blackbeard’s demise off the coast of Beaufort, the This Day in North Carolina History Project tells the weird, wacky and wonderful stories of the people and places of the Tar Heel State’s history day-by-day in easy to digest, 200-word blurbs. Each post links to related educational resources from across our department to help you teach your kids about our state’s past.
  4. Produced by the N.C. Museum of Art, ArtNC helps students and teachers connect art to what they’re learning and teaching by using abstract ideas spanning grade level, subject area, content and skill and relating them to NCMA works of art and their historical contexts.

Still have questions? NCKnows can help! A project of the State Library and NC LIVE, NCKnows allows you to connect with a public or academic librarian online nearly 24/7 to get help and find library resources.

Good luck! And if we can do anything to help you slog through your kids homework this school year, don’t hesitate to drop us a line, post on our Facebook page, tweet at us or leave a comment below. We’re happy to help!

Bentonville Battlefield will transform into a Civil War campground Saturday, complete with artillery and musket firing demonstrations

Bentonville Battlefield will transform into a Civil War campground Saturday,
complete with artillery and musket firing demonstrations

The weekend kicks off Thursday evening when the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City will screen the 1960 family favorite Swiss Family Robinson.

Friday, the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh will invite visitors to wander through its galleries after dark with the down-home bluegrass sounds of The Hey Brothers as a backdrop before showing the popular comedy Nebraska under the stars.

Saturday, Tryon Palace New Bern will host Grammy Award winner Gregory Porter and other top artists for the inaugural Where Rivers Meet Summer Jazz Festival on its picturesque South Lawn, and Bentonville Battlefield in Four Oaks will transform into a Civil War era camp complete with musket and artillery firing demonstrations. In Raleigh, the State Library will put a on a workshop where participants can discover how to find their female ancestors before the N.C. Museum of Art shows The LEGO Movie in its Museum Park.

The weekend wraps up Sunday when the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem will team up with the local nonprofit Bookmarks to show Under the Tuscan Sun.

Throughout the weekend, the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer will host model train layouts, kids’ activities and celebrities of the rail fan world for the Historic Spencer Shops Train Show.

Check out DCR’s calendar for more information on these and other events, and a enjoy a great North Carolina weekend!

See legendary folk singer Judy Collins and the baseball classic Bull Durham
in the N.C. Museum of Art’s Museum Park this weekend.

Maritime crafts in Hatteras, a drawing workshop in Winston-Salem and a performance by legendary folk singer Judy Collins in Raleigh are just a few of the opportunities for fun and discovery you’ll find this weekend with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

The weekend starts off Thursday when the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteraswill help kids make maritime-themed crafts as staff from the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh read kids a tall tale after taking a short tour of one of the museum’s wonderful galleries. The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem will host a drawing workshop led by a Wake Forest professor in the afternoon.

Friday, the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort will present a 1960s-style, psychedelic murder mystery dinner as the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City hosts an interactive art making workshop for kids and families. In Raleigh, the N.C. Museum of Art will team up with Morehead Planetarium and the Raleigh Astronomy Club to offer a stargazing session in the Museum Park before screening the classic baseball film Bull Durham.

Saturday kicks off with bicycle tours hosted by the N.C. Maritime Museum in Southportthat highlight the history of its hometown and special, informal tours of the outdoor History of Harvest exhibit at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh. Throughout the day Historic Edenton will celebrate the reopening of the Roanoke River Lighthouse with special tours, before iconic folk singer Judy Collins will take the stage of the outdoor amphitheater at the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh that evening.

This weekend is also a great time to check out some fantastic special exhibitions now on view across the state. The N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh has Bull City Summer, a multimedia exploration of one season with the country’s most famous minor league baseball team, and Sacred Motherhood, which features 13 diverse representations of mother and child from the Museum’s permanent collection.

Across town, the N.C. Museum of History’s Stagville: Black and White showcases Durham’s Historic Stagville in stunning photographs, while the Queen Anne’s Revenge: 1718 traveling exhibit of treasures from Blackbeard’s flagship is on view at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson in Winnabow.

Winston-Salem‘s SECCA is now showing Neil Goldberg: Anthology, which examines life in art through a variety of media and Claire Harvey: Daily Measures, which features works that transform everyday materials and witnessed subjects into fascinating microcosms.

Check out DCR’s calendar for more information on these and other events, and a enjoy a great North Carolina weekend!

Join the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort Saturday for pirate-themed
family activities, weapons demonstrations and more
as part
of the town-wide Pirate Invasion.

A pirate invasion in Beaufort, a chance to play in the clay in Mount Gilead and a children’s festival in Durham are just a few of the opportunities for fun and discovery you can find this weekend with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

The weekend starts Thursday when Historic Edenton will offer sneak peek tours of the recently restored Roanoke River Lighthouse in celebration of National Lighthouse Day.

Friday, the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh will let visitors meander through its galleries after dark with the smooth country sounds of David Dyer & the Crooked Smile Band in the background before showing the 2013 hit film American Hustle under the stars.

Saturday will be a busy day across the state. In the east, the N.C. Maritime Museum inBeaufort will host weapons demonstrations and pirate-themed crafts and offer an educational and entertaining lunch with Blackbeard and his crew as part the town-wide annual Pirate Invasion. The museum’s counterpart in Southport will host model train displays and special tours focused on the area’s railroad history.

Historic Edenton will offer a yoga class on the 1767 Chowan County Courthouse lawn, while the Tryon Palace in New Bern hosts locally-raised artist Gerry King for a reception to celebrate his new book of paintings of Craven County . The CSS Neuse Interpretive Center in Kinston will host interpreters portraying nurses and a surgeon for a program on medicine during the Civil War, while Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson in Winnabow will offer hourly Civil War naval living history demonstrations focusing on torpedoes and deadly mines feared by the Union Navy. In Wilmington, the Battleship North Carolina will have volunteers demonstrating life at sea posted throughout the ship and host displays and artifacts highlighting the differences between the CSS and USS North Carolinas during the Civil War.

In the Piedmont, Burlington‘s Alamance Battleground will have colonial games, crafts and more as part of its kids’ day, while visitors to the State Capitol in Raleigh can get a rare glimpse of the attic and other normally hidden spaces on behind-the-scenes tours. In Durham, Duke Homestead’s annual children’s festival will include music and dancing, historical crafts and activities and more, while Town Creek Indian Mound in Mount Gileadwill give visitors the chance to learn about the Pee Dee culture, make pottery and see dugout canoes be built.

Back in Raleigh, the N.C. Museum of History will allow visitors to watch local painterSusan Brabeau as she works before offering a scavenger hunt and craft related to the unique 1920s dug store exhibit. Later in the afternoon the Museum of History will host a panel discussion on Morganton native and U.S. Senator Same Ervin and his role in Watergate. Across town, the N.C. Museum of Art will give kids and parents the chance to make a mosaic together after taking a short tour of the galleries and put on a concert by the Grammy Award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops in the Museum Park.

In the west, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem will offer fun and creative art making activities for kids, before the Reed Gold Mine in Midland screens the movie Like Rats in a Trap that was filmed on site. The N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer will offer a special scavenger hunt focusing on the art of automobile design, while showing off classic to modern Corvettes and Camaros during its All GM Show.

The weekend wraps up Sunday when SECCA will participate in Winston-Salem‘s city-wide Second Sundays on Fourth with art making activities for the whole family inspired by the film Short Circuit, and the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh closes its awarding-winning exhibit on the Watergate scandal.

Check out DCR’s calendar for more information on these and other events, and a enjoy a great North Carolina weekend!

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