Posts Tagged ‘Somerset Place’

North Carolina’s historic sites, museums and other cultural institutions will be spreading good cheer across the state this weekend.

Civil War-style celebrations of Christmas in Durham and Four Oaks, a Polar Express adventure in Elizabeth City and a 1940s holiday bash in Sedalia are just a sampling of fun programs you’ll find throughout Tar Heel State.

Here are 17 events not to miss:

1. Cookies and cocoa at Dr. Brown’s home in Sedalia Saturday. The snacks are part of a larger program at the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum that looks at Christmas during the 1940s.

2. Music, crafts, food and fun as part of Christmas at the Big House, Christmas at the Quarters at Historic Stagville in Durham Saturday.

3. 1830s Christmas Candlelight tours of Vance Birthplace in Weaverville Saturday, where visitors will play the part of travelers seeking lodging for the night at the Vance home.

4. A Civil War Christmas at Bennett Place in Durham Saturday and Sunday, complete with traditional cooking demonstrations, caroling and decorations from the period.

5. Ornament-making at Mount Gilead‘s Town Creek Indian Mound Saturday. Visitors can choose to make edible “orniments” for birds or a clay decoration for their tree.

6. A German-style “Golden Christmas” at Reed Gold Mine in Midland Saturday. Craft demonstrations, candlelight tours of the mine and activities for the kids will all be part of the fun.

7. Refreshments and the chance to see what life was like for common Civil War soldiers on furlough during the holidays during Bentonville Battlefield’s Christmas program in Four OaksSaturday.


8. A fun-filled Christmas extravaganza featuring classic seasonal songs throughout the weekend at Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo.

9. Pinecone decorating and stories surrounding the origins of the Christmas tree as part of aVictorian Christmas at the N.C. Maritime Museum in Southport Saturday. 

10. A Crystal Coast Christmas Flotilla along the Beaufort waterfront Saturday night, right near the N.C. Maritime Museum.

11. A glimpse into the splendor of the season on an antebellum plantation, complete with traditional decorations and a good ole’ fashion Southern meal, Sunday at Somerset Place inCreswell.  

12. Nighttime tours of Durham‘s Duke Homestead decorated for an 1870s Christmas Friday.

13. Arms drills, cannon firing and displays of Civil War camp life at Fort Fisher in Kure Beach Saturday to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the first Federal attack there .

14. A Polar Express-themed holiday celebration at the Museum of Albemarle in Elizabeth City Saturday, featuring carriage rides and a model train village based on the family film favorite.

15. Performances of Handel’s Messiah by the N.C. Symphony and N.C. Master Chorale throughout the weekend in Raleigh and Southern Pines.

16. A lecture and book signing on growing up in Raleigh during the 1940s and 50s Sunday at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh.

17. Stories of Christmas past and special treats at the Mountain Gateway Museum Saturday, in conjunction with the Old Fort Christmas parade.

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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Enjoy live traditional, bluegrass and gospel music Saturday at
Horne Creek Farm’s cornshucking frolic in Pinnacle.

An old-time celebration of fall in Pinnacle, hand-dipped candle making in Creswell and concerts of music from Oscar-winning movies across 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.

The weekend kicks off Thursday when the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem debuts a small new exhibit showcasing the work of local kids, and the N.C. Maritime Museum in Southport hosts a 1950s-style sock hop featuring stories and images from Hurricane Hazel.

The fun continues Friday, when visitors to the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh can learn the basics of digital photo restoration from renowned local photographer Dr. Brenda Scott, and the N.C. Museum of Art screens the 50s film noir On Dangerous Ground across town.

Saturday promises opportunities to get your culture on across the state. In the west, Asheville’s Thomas Wolfe Memorial will host an 8k road race to help support the site, while Horne Creek Farm in Pinnacle will put on its annual cornshucking frolic, featuring music, food, kids’ activities and the chance for visitors to try heritage skills like basket weaving and blacksmithing.

In the piedmont, the N.C. Museum of History will host noted Civil War historian Chris Fonville for a talk on the sinking of the ironclad CSS Albermarle, while Historic Halifax will show the family favorite Hook in conjunction with the Queen Anne’s Revenge traveling exhibit it currently has on display. In Mount Gilead, Town Creek Indian Mound will celebrate International Archaeology Day with hands-on archaeology activities for kids and families, crafts and Native American games. Back in Raleigh, the N.C. Museum of Art will offer gallery tours and studio time for families around the theme of unusual landscapes and have a pop-up art cart in its galleries to help kids make mini collage portraits. Also in Raleigh, the State Archives will participate in Home Movie Day by screening films from members of the public and offering prizes for attendees.

At the coast, Creswell’s Somerset Place will have costumed historic interpreters on hand to help visitors make hand-dipped candles and learn the history behind the craft, while the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort will host a gathering of traditionally-made boats, complete with free rides for the public and a pig pickin’. The Maritime Museum in Southport will also offer bike tours highlighting the history of its hometown.

The weekend wraps up Sunday at the N.C. Museum of Art with a concert of 17th century music from the Low Countries to celebrate the recent opening of its Small Treasures exhibition.

Throughout the weekend, the N.C. Symphony will play music from Star Trek, West Side Story and other classic movies in New Bern, Raleigh, Fayetteville, Southern Pines and Wilmington , while the 1897 Poe House at the Museum of the Cape Fear in Fayetteville will be decorated for Halloween-themed tours.

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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A crowd at Somerset Place watches a historical demonstration

Music, arts and crafts were just part of the fun for Cultural Resources Sec. Susan Kluttz and many local residents and tourists who came out for Somerset Place’s 2nd Saturdays program last Saturday. The program demonstrated the fusion of African and European cultures that could be found when Somerset was one of the largest plantations in the upper South.

Sec. Kluttz in front the of Collins House at Somerset Place with site manager Karen Hayes and Historic Sites Director Keith Hardison

The secretary watched as the exciting sounds of West African drumming were led by arts educator Braima Moiwai, while English country dances and songs were performed and taught by music historian Simon Spaulding. She also met several people who practice heritage crafts, including carpenter Thomas Killian, Jr., who is doing restoration work at Historic Halifax, and his son, noted potter Thomas Killian III.

Since it was her first time at Somerset, Sec. Kluttz took a tour of entire site, including the plantation’s slave dwellings, smokehouse, laundry and hospital. She also received a behind-the-scenes tour of the Collins House, which is the main house on the property and is currently being restored.

See more pictures of the secretary’s trip here.

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Guest blogging for nccultureblogger is intern Casey Owens, who talks about musical offerings at some upcoming 2nd Saturdays events on Aug. 14.

As a college student, experiencing all the cultural influences of North Carolina through the art, food, crafts, and music of local artisans is truly the best way to learn the history of the state I call home.   While summer is winding down, 2nd Saturdays is gearing up for its final programs of the year at 37 state historic sites and museums on Aug. 14.

Three eastern North Carolina sites are showcasing music on Aug. 14 – Historic Halifax, Somerset Place and the Museum of the Albemarle.  They will feature music, food and live performances for families, travelers, and locals.  From gospel to acoustic strings to bluegrass, there is something for everyone to love as each site creates its own special mix.

 The Museum of the Albemarle will host a variety of music and art along with the wonderful exhibits of the museum at the program “A Day on the River”.  Bill Darrow, singer and songwriter, will perform sea shanties.  The duo Paper Mountain will perform its mix of jazz, rock, bluegrass, country and folk, along with original music.  On top of the live musical performances, the Museum will present two documentaries about Eastern North Carolina.  “Wild Caught: The Life and Struggles of an American Fishing Town” explores the day-to-day realities of a small North Carolina fishing town.  “Coastal Dialect” explores the rich origins of how people talk along the North Carolina coast.

Music will also be in abundance at Somerset Place. African Drumming will be performed by Al Bailey and Braima Mowai. The Washington County Male Chorus will perform uplifting gospel music.  Vocalist Antonio Webb will perform.  The American Indian group Grey Wolf will perform drumming and dancing.  Along with music, a variety of crafts, art, and food will be on display and for sale. With so many artisans and craftsmen, Somerset Place offers a full day for families on a budget.  While in the area, explore woodworking and arts at Historic Edenton.

Historic Halifax is showcasing music as well with the old-time, Colonial and Celtic music of the Potecasi String Band.   “A Market Fair” is the theme for the site’s program. A diverse group of local artists will be on hand to exhibit and sell beautiful, handcrafted art, food and crafts.  JoAnne Tripp’s paintings will be one of the features of the day. Family Flavored Ice will be on hand selling delicious, cold treats.

August 14 is certainly a day to mark on the calendar for anyone seeking a fun, entertaining summer day without breaking the bank.  Celebrate the end of an eventful summer with 2nd Saturdays at any of the 37 historic sites and museums across the state.

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