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North Carolina is blessed with 10 national parks. From the majestic peaks of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the west to the softs sands of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore on the Outer Banks, there’s so much to see and do, and so much history behind the Tar Heel State’s federally protected places.

To celebrate National Parks Week, here are 10 items from our collections related to North Carolina’s national parks:

1. A 1952 brochure for Fort Raleigh National Historic Site in Manteo

 

FortRaleigh

Item S.HS.2006.8.4 from the collection of North Carolina Historic Sites

 

2. Goggle fishing at the Cape Lookout National Seashore, circa August 1939

 

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Image ConDev2307L from the Conservation and Development Department,
Travel and Tourism Division photo files of the State Archives

 

3. Stopping at the Mount Mitchell Turnout on the Blue Ridge Parkway, circa June 1945

 

ConDev5080A

Image ConDev5080A from the Conservation and Development Department,
Travel and Tourism Division photo files of the State Archives

 

4. A 1781 drawing of the Quaker community around the Guilford Courthouse battlefield

 

StateLibrarySketch

Sketch from the Genealogy Collection of the State Library

 

5. A Navy blimp and Army helicopter at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, circa 1950

 

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Image from the David Stick Collection of the Outer Banks History Center

 

6. Carl Sandburg gets a visit at Connemara, now the Carl Sandburg National Historic Site in Flat Rock

 

CarlSandburg

Item H.1952.63.54 from the N.C. Museum of History’s collection

 

7. Surf fishing at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore with the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in the background, circa 1956

 

PhC68_1_15

Image PhC68_1_15 from Carolina Power and Light (CP&L)
Photograph Collection 
of the State Archives

 

8. A 1948 postcard from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

 

PhC_120_3_19

Image PhC_120_3_19 from the Miscellaneous Postcard Collection
of the State Archives

 

9. A 1965 North Carolina travel guide featuring Fontana Lake, which is skirted in part by the Appalachian Trail

 

FontanaLake

Item H.1982.88.2 from the N.C. Museum of History’s collection

 

10. A plate commemorating the Battle of Moores Creek Bridge

 

MooresCreekPlate

Item H.2008.59.12 from the N.C. Museum of History’s collection

 

Explore more materials related to North Carolina’s national parks and a wide array of other subjects on the State Archives’ Flickr site, North Carolina Digital Collections and our collections database.

A look at the science of pirates in Greenville, re-enactments commemorating the largest surrender of the Civil War in Durham and an afternoon of living history activities near Sanford are just of the few of the opportunities for fun and discovery you’ll find this weekend across North Carolina.

Here are 11 suggestions to help you make the most of your limited time:

1. Touch a cannon that was once mounted on Blackbeard’s flagship and learn about the science of pirates Saturday at the Queen Anne’s Revenge Conservation Lab in Greenville.

 

 

2. Commemorate the 150th anniversary of the largest troop surrender of the Civil War throughout the weekend at Bennett Place in Durham.

 

 

3. Celebrate the culture of southern Appalachia Saturday at the Mountain Gateway Museum’s Pioneer Day in Old Fort, featuring craft demonstrations, music, food and Civil War re-enactors.

 

 

4. Spend your Saturday afternoon at “Retreat,” now known as House in the Horseshoe near Sanford, and experience artillery and musket firings, pottery making and 18th century toys and games.

 

 

5. Hear some of the state and county’s best musical acts perform “traditional plus” music throughout the weekend at MerleFest in Wilkesboro.

 

 

6. Honor the anniversary of George Washington’s visit to Tryon Palace with a colonial ball,dinner with President Washington and other activities throughout the weekend in New Bern.

 

 

7. See groundbreaking new films selected as noteworthy by the RiverRun International Film Festival throughout the weekend at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem.

 

 

8. Check out Zoosphere, a new exhibition at the N.C. Museum of Art that explores humans’ effect on the environment through video, when it opens Saturday in Raleigh.

 

 

9. Kayak through local history Saturday with the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

 

 

10. Join the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum in Sedalia Saturday for a community discussion of the connections between Dr. Brown’s work and the Freedom Riders.

 

 

11. Enjoy the moving sound of Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” and other American masterworks as performed by the N.C. Symphony throughout the weekend in Chapel Hill and Raleigh.

 

 

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

French and Indian War re-enactments in Statesville, a look inside some of North Carolina’s oldest buildings in Edenton and a panel discussion with Vietnam POWs 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.

Here are 13 suggestions to help you make the most of your limited time:

1. See re-enactments that highlight North Carolina’s role in the French and Indian War Saturday and Sunday at Fort Dobbs in Statesville.

 

 

2. Check out Alternative Modernisms, a new exhibition that explores the evolving relationship between the historical and contemporary image, when it opens Thursday at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem.

 

 

3. See inside North Carolina’s oldest house and other Chowan County historic landmarks during Edenton‘s Pilgrimage of Historic Homes Friday and Saturday.

 

 

4. Join Bennett Place in Durham as it opens a new museum space Saturday and kicks off its commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the landmark surrender that took place there.

 

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5. Hear first-hand about what life was like for POWs during the Vietnam War Friday at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh.

 

 

6. Hike the Rachel Carson Reserve with staff from the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort Friday.

 

 

7. Enjoy the sounds of Broadway’s best tunes at concerts performed by the N.C. SymphonyFriday and Saturday in Raleigh.

 

 

8. Spend Saturday evening under the stars with Town Creek Indian Mound in Mount Gilead to celebrate International Dark Sky Week.

 

 

9. Explore the music of the 1700s and hear some live performances of it Saturday at the President James K. Polk Historic Site in Pineville.

 

 

10. Take inspiration from Mickalene Thomas’s The Three Graces and create embellished mixed-media selfies that highlight three aspects of your personality Saturday at the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh.

 

 

11. Ride through Southport‘s history with bike tours offered by the N.C. Maritime Museum there Saturday.

 

 

12. Learn about the history of the Stanly House Friday at Tryon Palace in New Bern.

 

 

13. Take your kids to the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh Saturday to learn about lighthouses and make paper lighthouses of their own.

 

 

Check out DCR’s calendar for more information on these and other events, and a enjoy a great North Carolina weekend! If you know someone who’d like to receive these emails, they can sign up on the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources website.

Slow Art Day celebrations in Raleigh and Winston-Salem, a look at the history beneath the seas in Southport and a garden lover’s weekend in New Bern are just a few of the opportunities for fun and discovery you’ll find this weekend with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

Here are 14 suggestions to help you make the most of your time:

1. Commemorate the 239th anniversary of the Halifax Resolves, the first official cry from a colony for independence from Great Britain with a day of special tours and living history activities at Historic Halifax Sunday.

2. Experience the mesmerizing vision of Hector Belio’s Symphonie Fantastique as performed by the North Carolina Symphony throughout the weekend in Southern Pines and Raleigh.

3. Visit Tryon Palace’s gardens for free, learn how to spruce up your home with historic plants and a take a tour of New Bern‘s historic homes and gardens as part of the site’sGarden Lover’s Weekend Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

4. Spend Slow Art Day, a global event aimed at helping people experience art in new ways, with the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh or the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem.

5. Discover the history hidden beneath the seas around the lower Cape Fear region Saturday at a symposium hosted by the N.C. Maritime Museum in Southport. UPDATE 4/10 — This event has been cancelled

6. Dive deep into the work of Thomas Wolfe and discuss one his short stories with local author Terry Roberts Thursday at the Thomas Wolfe Memorial in Asheville.

7. Join the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem for a morning of cartoons and art making Saturday.

8. See antique tractors and trains from throughout history at the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer Saturday.

9. Celebrate the birthday of Addy Walker, an African American Girl Doll representing the Civil War era, with Historic Stagvile in Durham.

10. Take a kayak trip with your kids and the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

11. Hear about the close of the Civil War in North Carolina from expert scholar Mark Bradley Saturday at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh.
12. Just in time for spring, discover the fascinating history behind gardens in ancient Egypt Sunday at the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh.

13. Make your own Civil War-style haversack Saturday at the CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center in Kinston.

14. Watch some of the world’s best documentaries in downtown Durham throughout the weekend as part of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

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

A new exhibit of historical photographs of the mountains in Asheville, a beer tasting to kick off North Carolina Beer Month in Raleigh and opportunities to meet the Easter Bunny and go on Easter egg hunts around the state are just a few of the opportunities for fun and discovery you’ll find this weekend with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

Here are nine suggestions to help you make the most of your time:

1. Discover the history and archaeology of whaling in North Carolina during a talk Thursday at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras.
2. Go on an Easter egg hunt and celebrate spring with other fun activities in the shadow of the Battleship North Carolina Saturday in Wilmington.

3. Kick off North Carolina Beer Month with a beer tasting Friday at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh.
4. Take your kids to Tryon Palace in New Bern Saturday afternoon for games, pictures with the Easter Bunny and an Easter egg hunt on the South Lawn.
5. Meet the Easter Bunny, dye and decorate eggs and take part in an Easter egg hunt on the grounds of the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) Friday in Winston-Salem.

6. Ride the Easter Bunny Express with your family throughout the weekend at the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer. An Easter egg hunt and breakfast with the Easter Bunny will also be offered Saturday.
7. Explore the N.C. Museum of Art’s galleries after dark Friday in Raleigh, while Ed Stephenson and the Paco Band play in the background.
8. Check out a traveling exhibit of Horace Kephart’s iconic photographs of the Great Smoky Mountains, open at the DCR Western Office in Asheville for the first time this weekend.

9. See what it took to rebuild Tryon Palace in the 1950s in a new exhibit of photographs opening Sunday in New Bern.

Keep in mind that most of our historic sites and museums will be closed for the state holidays on Friday and Sunday. Call ahead before you visit to make sure they’re open.

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

Panning for gold in Midland, train rides with the Easter Bunny in Spencer and a remembrance of the Vietnam War in Raleigh as just a few of the opportunities for fun and discovery you’ll find this weekend with the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

Here are nine suggestions to help you make the most of your time:

1. Take your kids to the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer for special train rides with the Easter Bunny Saturday and Sunday.
2. Try your hand at striking it rich Saturday when Reed Gold Mine in Midland opens up gold panning for the season.
3. Commemorate Vietnam Veterans Day throughout the weekend at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh with period equipment displays, the chance to talk with Vietnam veterans and performances of a play that centers on the conflict.
4. Stargaze with folks from the Morehead Planetarium and Raleigh Astronomy Club Saturday at the N.C. Museum of Art’s Museum Park in Raleigh.
5. See what it takes a build a boat in the traditional style Saturday at the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort.
6. Check out a new exhibition of oil paintings by Josephine Halvorson that opens this Thursday at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem.
7. Learn how to make rope like they did in the 1800s Saturday at Somerset Place in Creswell.
8. Join the N.C. Maritime Museum in Southport for bike tours that highlight the history of its hometown Saturday.
9. Experience demonstrations of the historic weaving technique of tatting Friday at the President James K. Polk Historic Site in Pineville.
Check out DCR’s calendar for more information on these and other events, and a enjoy a great North Carolina weekend!

It’s the first day of spring and we’re excited! It’s been a pretty rough winter across the Tar Heel State, and if you’re feeling as stir crazy as we are, you’re ready to get out there and celebrate the coming of the warmer weather with all of the best that North Carolina has to offer.

Here’s what’s on our spring bucket list. What’s on yours?

nctm-spring-list1. Jump on board the Easter Bunny Express at the N.C. Transportation Museum.

No one signals the arrival of spring quite like the Easter Bunny. And during the next couple of weeks, he’ll be offering special train rides at the N.C. Transportation Museum that your kids won’t want to miss. In addition to train rides, your family can also have breakfast with the big bunny and go on an Easter egg hunt at the museum on select days.

 

This free online course from the State Library and Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest will introduce beginners to the basics of the family history research, while offering pros a chance to take part in the teaching process and share their love for family history with others. Spring is a great time for a new project, make genealogy yours!

 

bville-spring-list3. Experience a Civil War living history program.

North Carolina’s largest Civil War re-enactment will take place this weekend at Bentonville Battlefield in Four Oaks, but the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the end of Civil War won’t stop there. We have a number of programs planned through the rest of the season.

 

tryon-spring-list4. Visit the beautiful gardens at Tryon Palace.

The gardens at Tryon Palace represent the wide array of landscapes you’d see on larger estates during the 18th and 19th centuries. From the grandeur of the formal Maude Moore Latham Garden to the natural Wilderness Garden and the practical Kitchen Garden, there’s so much to explore.

 

library-b-spring-list5. Explore past issues of Wildlife in North Carolina magazine.

In print since 1937, Wildlife in North Carolina is the official educational publication of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. The magazine features a stunning collection of nature photography perfect for the season, and thanks to the hard the work of the State Library, you can read more than 700 issues online for free.

 

science-spring-list6. See the science behind some of state’s most fascinating history.

From an overview of the engineering that makes Vollis Simpson’s whirligigs work to a look at the cutting edge technology used to conserve artifacts from the wreck of the Blackbeard’s flagship, several of our historic sites, museums and other venues are teaming up with the N.C. Science Festival this April to show you the interesting intersections of history and science.

 

arts-spring-list7. Try out a new North Carolina arts experience.

From annual music festivals like MerleFest and Moogfest to the start of the run of the many of North Carolina’s outdoor dramas, there are so many great experiences across the Tar Heel State in the springtime. Check out the N.C. Arts Council’s cultural trails for some inspiration.

 

ncma-spring-list8. Take a stroll in the N.C. Museum of Art’s Museum Park.

If you saw our fall bucket list, you probably know that we recommended the park then, too. But the truth is that there’s really no bad to time to visit this 160-acre Raleigh gem. As part of its inaugural Art in Bloom festival this weekend, the museum will be offering several great programs, both inside and out.

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