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Posts Tagged ‘Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum’

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!

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The debut of Thomas Wolfe book club in Asheville, after-hours family fun at the North Carolina History Center in New Bern and performances of the iconic “Rhapsody in Blue” in Raleigh and Chapel 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 seven suggestions to help you make the most of your weekend:

1. Escape the winter cold and enjoy fun for the whole family after hours at the North Carolina History Center Thursday at Tryon Palace in New Bern.

Family Night at the Museum

 

2. Hear about the Battle of Fort Fisher and its role in the end of the Civil War from noted historian Robert Gragg, Saturday at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh.

Fort Fisher Marching

 

3. Take your kids to Graveyard of Atlantic Museum in Hatteras Friday to learn more about 1894 wreck of the cargo ship Clythia and make a related craft.

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4. Discuss the short story “Dark in the Forest, Strange as Time” at the Thomas Wolfe Memorial’s first book club meeting Saturday in Asheville.

Thomas Wolfe and Mom

 

5. Enjoy performances of George Gershwin’s famous “Rhapsody in Blue” by the N.C. Symphony in Raleigh and Chapel Hill throughout the weekend.

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6. Learn more about the unique history of President Abraham Lincoln and his Cabinet during a lecture from renowned historian Ed Bearss Sunday at Tryon Palace in New Bern.

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7. Take a family-friendly tour of the N.C. Museum of Art’s galleries and grounds Saturday and Sunday in Raleigh.

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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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See booty from the wreck of Blackbeard’s flagship, like this cannon, at the
Queen Anne’s Revenge Conservation Lab open house Saturday in Greenville.

The debut of an exhibit on film in Raleigh, a Civil War weekend in New Bern and a glimpse into the conservation of booty recovered from Blackbeard’s flagship 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 fun starts Thursday when the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort tells the story behind the 33-foot sperm whale skeleton that hangs in its main gallery, while the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras shows a maritime-themed movie and helps kids create a related craft. In Elizabeth City, the Museum of the Albemarle will offer a hands-on kids program focusing on the different kinds of teapots, and in Raleigh, staff at the N.C. Museum of Art will help kids and parents explore people in art together.

Friday, the N.C. Museum of Art will screen the 1940s thriller Secret beyond the Door andkeep its galleries open late for visitors to explore after dark, while Tryon Palace in New Bern will give kids the chance to see what life was like for a royal governor’s cook in the 18th century.

Greenville‘s Queen Anne’s Revenge Conservation Lab will open its doors Saturday for the public to see the conservation of artifacts recovered Blackbeard’s flagship first hand, while the N.C. Maritime Museum in Southport offers bike tours of its hometown. In Pineville, the President James K. Polk Historic Site will celebrate its namesake’s birthday with historic cooking demonstrations, children’s games and a birthday cake, while Historic Halifax willoffer a historical holiday decorations workshop. The N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh will also debut its Starring North Carolina! exhibit Saturday. The landmark exhibit features artifacts, images and video from films and television shows produced in the Tar Heel State.

The weekend wraps up Sunday with a concert by internationally-renowned pianist Peter Toth at the N.C. Museum of Art.

Throughout the weekend, Fort Dobbs in Statesville will put on a military timeline programwhere visitors can meet soldiers from across American history, while Tryon Palace will have interactive discussions, Civil War-themed tours and a living history encampment as part of its Civil War weekend. The N.C. Symphony will play concerts featuring Bach’s famous Brandenburg Concertos in Raleigh, Southern Pines, Wilmington and Chapel Hill.

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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Stop by the N.C. Museum of History Saturday to see artifacts from bluegrass legends on display and make a banjo of your own.

Toy banjo making in Raleigh, a drama depicting the Lincolns in Creswell and a boat building class in Beaufort 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 fun and learning start Thursday, when the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort hosts a lunchtime talk on the Native Americans that called the Crystal Coast region home. Friday, the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh will screen the French drama Max et les Ferrailleurs as part of its fall film noir series and stay open late to let visitors explore the galleries at night with the smooth jazz stylings of the Oynx Club Boys in the background.

Saturday, the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh will help kids and families make a toy banjo to take home, while the N.C. Museum of Art offers a lecture exploring the genius of Vermeer across town. Elsewhere in Piedmont, Town Creek Indian Mound in Mount Gilead will open a traveling exhibit of treasures from Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge.

In the eastern part of the state, the Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington will explore how World War II sailors coped with torpedo damage, while Historic Edenton offers another installment of its popular yoga classes on the 1767 Chowan County Courthouse lawn. In Hatteras, the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum will offer a day for prospective volunteers to see how they can help, while in Creswell, Somerset Place will present a drama depicting the last day of Abraham Lincoln’s life, including the opportunity for visitors to talk with re-enactors portraying Lincoln and his wife. The N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort will teach visitors how to build a boat using old-school carpentry techniques, while the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City puts on a bonsai workshop and hosts a lecture on U-boat action off the Outer Banks during World War II.

The weekend fun wraps up Sunday when the N.C. Museum of History presents a concert featuring the eclectic sounds of Dark Water Rising and the N.C. Museum of Art offers free, family-friendly art-making activities and gallery games with its pop-up art cart.

Throughout the weekend, the N.C. Symphony will perform concerts of music that captures the spirit and feel of Mexico in Raleigh.

Keep in mind, too, that next Tuesday is Veterans Day. Though most of our venues will be closed for the holiday, Tryon Palace in New Bern, the Battleship North Carolina inWilmington and the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh will be open for family fun. Tryon Palace will offer a special salute to the men and women who have defended North Carolinathroughout history, while the N.C. Museum of Art will give free admission to its Small Treasures exhibition for veterans, active duty military members and their families.

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.

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Tryon Palace will have interactive crafts for kids and living history tours
of the Hay House as part of its Fall Family Day Saturday

A bluegrass festival in Manteo, a day of family activities in New Bern and an afternoon of jazz music 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 fun starts Thursday when the President James K. Polk Historic Site in Pineville comes alive with the smells and sounds of 19th century cooking. At the coast, the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras will help kids create a sandcastle-themed craft and host a local artist for canvas-backed decoy painting demonstrations.

Friday, the N.C. Museum of Art will show the postwar classic drama Ace in the Hole, starring the legendary Kirk Douglas, and stay open late for visitors to explore the galleries at night with the smooth jazz sounds of Fusion Collective South as a backdrop.

Saturday, living historians will be stationed throughout the Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington to show what life was like aboard World War II’s most decorated ship, while the Tryon Palace in New Bern will offer interactive crafts for kids and special living history tours of the Hay House as part of its Fall Family Day. Tryon Palace will also be giving free admission to teachers, serving as a stop on the Kitchens of New Bern tour and hosting Revolutionary War historian Christian McBurney for a lecture and book signing Saturday.

Elsewhere at the coast, the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort will celebrate National Estuaries Day with family activities and a trash clean-up of the Rachel Carson Reserve, while the Graveyard of Atlantic Museum will give a talk on whaling and invite members of the public to share their stories related to the industry. The Museum of Albemarle in Elizabeth City will help teens and adults make a fun, fall-themed craft and open a new exhibit on the tradition of tea with a reception and princess tea party.

Back in the Triangle, the N.C. Museum of Art will help families work together to create a piece of collage art after taking a short tour of one museum’s wonderful galleries. Five of our historic sites and museums around the state will be will be offering free admission as part of Smithsonian Magazine‘s Museum Day Live.

Things wrap Sunday with an afternoon of spirituals and jazz with noted vocalist Yolanda Hall at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh, and a concert of old-time stringband music by the Happy Valley Pals at the N.C. Museum of Art across town. The Museum of Albemarle will host local writer Majorie Ann Berry for a lecture and book signing focusing on Elizabeth City’s most famous residents.

Throughout the weekend, the N.C. Symphony will play concerts of music from the Broadway hit West Side Story with scenes from the film as a backdrop in Raleigh, while Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo will host the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival featuring Ricky Skaggs.

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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Memorial Day has always been a curious commemoration to me.  Once a solemn day of remembrance of those who have died in service to the United States, it is now the unofficial start of summer—with many people equating Memorial Day with a trip to the beach.  If you are going to the Outer Banks of North Carolina for the holiday weekend, you can actually restore some of the original meaning of the observance at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras.

There is an extraordinary artifact on display at the Museum called an Enigma machine.  This very machine was aboard a German sub that was sunk off the North Carolina coast by the U.S. Navy in 1942.  The Germans used this complex coding device for secret communications, particularly in divulging locations of enemy vessels and supply convoys.    There is a fascinating behind the scenes story, too.

While most people know that lots of ships have been lost in the treacherous shoals off the Outer Banks, not that many realize that during World Wars I and II, German U-boats (submarines) patrolled the North Carolina coast wreaking havoc on ships that they encountered.  The worst time for the attacks was January to July of 1942.  At the beginning of the war, Germans had sophisticated submarines and highly trained crews, whereas the United States military had not put much emphasis on undersea warfare.

By January of 1942 there were about 19 German U-boats patrolling the Atlantic coastline—with 2 or 3 at any given time hiding at Diamond Shoals to attack ships as they rounded Cape Hatteras.  At the height of what has come to be known as the Battle of Torpedo Junction, the Germans were sinking a ship almost every day—freighters, tankers, passenger ships—the losses were tremendous.

The American military was, of course, hard at work learning how to detect and defeat the U-boats.  Their first hit came April 14, 1942, when the destroyer USS Roper sank U-85 off of the Outer Banks between Wimble Shoals and Cape Hatteras.  Navy divers surveyed and attempted to salvage the U-85 for about a week, but efforts were not very successful and, with a war on, the men were needed elsewhere.  The submarine was left to the elements.

The U-boat wreck was explored by recreational divers for many years.  In July of 2001 divers salvaged the submarine’s Enigma machine.  Although it is still being conserved, the stable parts are on display.  The Enigma machine, which is on indefinite loan to the Museum by the German government, presents an incredible opportunity to get a peek at a super-secret World War II weapon while visiting the scenic Outer Banks—an ideal blend of Memorial Day observance and the beach.  For more about the recovery and conservation of the Enigma machine, click here.

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Lots of people think of a great escape to the waves and sand when summer rolls around. Hatteras Light House,1948. From Conservation and Development Department, Travel and Tourism Division photo files, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC. ConDev7095A Hatteras Lighthouse, 1948 There are plenty of diversions at the shore!  Many are attracted to the Outer Banks and the lighthouse guardians of North Carolina’s coast, and other cultural gems nearby.  Visitors will discover three North Carolina Maritime Museums, three coastal state historic sites and three state aquariums that provide great entertainment on a day trip to the coast or as part of a longer getaway.

Starting in the northeast corner of the state, the Currituck Beach Lighthouse is a round, red brick tower that was built in 1875 and restored in 2000.  Head south and near Manteo you will find the Bodie Island Lighthouse, constructed in 1872 and now being restored.  The round brick tower painted with black and white bands makes a distinctive impression.  The Currituck Lighthouse is open Easter through Thanksgiving weekend.  The Bodie Island Lighthouse is closed for restoration.

When you head back to the mainland for some seafood or taffy, be sure to explore Roanoke Island Festival Park, for a trip to the 1500s.  The attraction includes the white-sailed vessel Elizabeth II, sailors in blouson shirts or men in tights and hats with feathers.  See a 16th century style American Indian village, the Adventure Museum — where you can try clothes or tools from the period — and so much more.  It’s well worth the price of admission.

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, constructed in 1870, was restored and moved one-half mile inland to save it from the advancing Atlantic Ocean in 2000.  The round brick tower replaced a brick octagonal tower and re-opened after renovations in 2003.  It is the country’s tallest lighthouse at 208 feet.  It is one of the most famous lighthouses, with bricks painted in a striking black and white spiral pattern and may be the best known building in North Carolina. The Ocracoke Lighthouse, a little south, is a round cement veneer tower painted white.  Constructed in 1823, it is the state’s oldest lighthouse in continuous service.  The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is open Easter through Columbus Day; the Ocracoke Lighthouse is open during the summer but closed for climbing.

Lighthouses served a vital purpose in the 1800s – they helped mariners navigate North Carolina’s treacherous coastline, serving as a beacon and warning of dangerous shoals.  The area became known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic as testament to the many shipwrecks in those waters.  While visiting the Hatteras or Ocracoke lighthouses, head over to the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras.  There you will see tales of the lost Shipwreck of Diamond Shoals, learn of storms at sea, piracy, and other potentially deadly encounters for mariners. The oldest and most recently recovered shipwreck in the state, from the mid 1600s, is also on display at the free museum.   

 Unique in the U.S. is the Cape Lookout Lighthouse, painted with a black and white diamond pattern.  The brick structure, constructed in 1859, has been renovated and is located on an uninhabited barrier island.  Across the sound in Beaufort is the N.C. Maritime Museum, which tells the story of the state’s maritime history, culture and environment.  It also is home to the exhibit, Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge 1718, with artifacts from the wreck of the flagship of the world’s most notorious pirates.  The museum is free, and nearby shops sell delicious fudge and ice cream.  Cape Lookout Lighthouse is open mid March through early November. 

At the southern Outer Banks are the Oak Island Lighthouse and Old Baldy (Bald Head Island Lighthouse).  The Oak Island Lighthouse, constructed in 1958, is black in the upper third, white in the center third, and gray at the bottom third.  The color is not painted, but in the concrete.  Old Baldy is a round, brick tower with mottled stucco veneer, constructed in 1817.  It is the nation’s oldest brick lighthouse and the last built in the early federal octagonal style.  Old Baldy is open daily; the Oak Island Lighthouse has a ladder, not stairs.  It is open Wednesdays and Saturdays, Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Many other cultural attractions pepper the area.  The N.C. Maritime Museum at Southport is dedicated to the maritime history of the region, and sits at the merging of the mighty Cape Fear River and the powerful Atlantic Ocean.  Sea pilots, pirates and merchant mariners all are represented here.  At Wilmington, the Battleship North Carolina tells the tales of World War II sailors and their lives at sea.  Nearby Fort Fisher, at Kure Beach, is a Civil War vintage earthworks fort where America’s largest land and naval assault up until World War I took place. The Battleship North Carolina is fee-based; the other two venues are free.

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