Posts Tagged ‘Valentine’s Day’

A Civil War re-enactment complete with torpedo demonstrations in Winnabow, screenings of the classic film Casablanca with the score performed live by N.C. Symphony in Raleigh and a look at sustainability through art in Fremont 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. Enjoy the romantic film classic Casablanca as the N.C. Symphony plays the score in the background, Friday and Saturday in Raleigh.



2. Commemorate the 150th anniversary of the fall of Fort Anderson in Winnabow, with battle re-enactments, living history demonstrations and lectures Saturday and Sunday.



3. Visit with costumed interpreters, make fun crafts with your kids and explore interactive exhibits at Tryon Palace’s Family Night at the Museum, Thursday in New Bern.



4. Stop by the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh Saturday to make a “heart-y” greeting for Valentine’s Day.



5. Take a carriage ride into the past and see demonstrations of Civil War-era home front and military life Saturday at the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City.



6. Check out the Lexicon of Sustainability Art Show in Fremont. It makes its debut at the Gov. Charles B. Aycock Birthplace Sunday.



7. Learn how the N.C. Maritime Museum saved a 33-foot long sperm whale skeleton and preserved its heart, Saturday in Beaufort.



8. Watch classic cartoons while helping the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) make a big geodesic dome for its Collective Actions exhibit, Saturday in Winston-Salem.



9. See the sci-fi thriller Firestarter, which helped launch North Carolina’s then-budding film industry, Friday at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh.



10. Show that special someone you care by creating a valentine they will “knot” forget, Saturday at the N.C. Maritime Museum in Southport.



11. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a scavenger hunt, hands-on activities and snacks, Saturday at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras.





13. Join the Thomas Wolfe Memorial for a discussion of Wolfe’s short story “The House of the Far and Lost,” Saturday in Asheville.



14. Explore a unique civil rights story through performances of dance, spoken word and music Saturday and Sunday at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh.



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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Ancient Verona isn’t the only place where stories of star-crossed lovers can be found, and to celebrate Valentine’s Day we thought we’d share two pretty incredible stories of forbidden love from North Carolina’s past.

Gov. David Lowry Swain

Gov. David Lowry Swain

The first story begins with the occupation of Chapel Hill by Union forces on Easter Sunday 1865. Shortly after troops arrived in the small Orange County town, one among them, Brigadier General Smith D. Atkins, was sent to the house of UNC president and former governor David Lowry Swain to arrange for the quartering of troops. Atkins quickly fell in love with Swain’s daughter, Ellie, and immediately began trying to win her and her family over, much to the chagrin of both Chapel Hill residents and the occupying troops.

Shortly after his arrival in Chapel Hill, Atkins was reassigned to western North Carolina. At his departure Ellie announced that she would marry him despite her family’s objections. Though concerned with the health of the university and the larger community, Swain ultimately consented to the wedding after investigating Atkins’ background.

The wedding was reviled by the community and ultimately had disastrous consequences for the university, which saw declining enrollment and was forced to close shortly after Swain’s death a few years later. Gov. Swain’s papers are still held by the State Archives today.

An image of Rachel Blythe from the State Archives

An image of Rachel Blythe from the State Archives

The second tale concerns the noted architect A.G. Bauer, who worked on a number of important public buildings including the Executive Mansion, Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill and the Western North Carolina Hospital for the Insane in Morganton. While working on the Executive Mansion in Raleigh, he fell deeply in love with Rachel Blythe, the beautiful young daughter of a Cherokee mother and a white father. Because of a state law forbidding marriage between whites and Indians, the two married in a secret ceremony in 1894.

The couple was eventually able to live openly, but only for a short time. Rachel died in 1897, leaving Bauer totally heartbroken. To honor her life, Bauer constructed a small Grecian Temple of Diana at her grave in Historic Oakwood Cemetery.

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