I am reading a prize-winning history by Philip Dray, At the Hands of Persons Unknown: A History of Lynching of Black America (2002). A Pulitzer-prize finalist, I don’t recommend the book to either the weak-of-heart or the weak-of-stomach.
Mr. Dray does not attempt a complete account of all lynchings in the United States, and North Carolina and New Bern, are, fortunately, not mentioned often, but when they are, at least in three incidents, mistakes of either omission or commission are made. New Bern is mentioned as follows:
In 1919 a lynching occurred of a man accused of murdering someone at the Roper Lumber Company, then on North Craven Street. But the lynching did not subsequently occur in New Bern, as Dray relates. The suspect was hustled to Onslow County for safekeeping where a mob, nevertheless, killed him in his cell by shooting.
Not mentioned is an incident occurring in 1905 and recounted in John Green’s A New Bern Album (1985.) A black man accused of attacking a woman in Clarks was taken to the Craven County Jail, then near the courthouse at the corner of Broad and Craven.
In the early morning hours a mob overcame the sheriff, took the victim to the old Neuse River bridge (then at the foot of Johnson Street) and hanged him from a bridge trestle (and shot him repeatedly).
A more egregious error in the narrative, at least in my opinion, is Mr. Dray’s telling readers Strom Thurmond was a NC Senator.
Pardon me- Mr. Dray’s book may have earned a Pulitzer nomination, and I very much think it deserves it, but putting Thurmond in North Carolina also earns Dray’s proof-readers and editors, not to mention Dray himself, dunce awards.
Our senators have included some of the worst- let’s not add to the historical record one of South Carolina’s own.
It has been 100 years since World War I, the “War to End All Wars.”
Mark Sandvigen will join the New Bern Historical Society once again at the Chelsea Restaurant July 10 at 11:30 a.m. for Lunch & Learn with a look back from the United States entry into WWI in 1917 to the return of our service men and women in 1919.
His presentation, A Distant Mirror: Craven County and Reflections on the Great War, 1917-1920, is a Craven County story as well as North Carolina story covering the impact of the War and how it changed every facet of our lives. This is not a presentation about dates and battles but rather a thoughtful look at society as a whole and how the War brought changes in almost everything: what we thought about, our patriotic values, what was popular, what was funny, what was known and what we would find out. This was presented in May and sold out quickly, so be sure to get your reservations early.
Mark Sandvigen, a retired U.S. Naval Officer and senior executive for several Fortune 500 companies, brings a unique perceptive to this forgotten chapter in our history. Mark’s interest in the Great War began with his Grandfather who fought in the 91st Pine Tree Division during the 100 days leading to the Armistice. Pursuing his Grandfather’s legacy led to walking the battlefields and trenches of the Western Front along with visiting the WWI memorials and museums of the allied powers. His investigations and perspective will provide an illuminating, and sometimes amusing look at the home and military life of North Carolinians and New Bernians of that era.
Lunch & Learn starts at 11:30 a.m. at The Chelsea Restaurant, 335 Middle Street, New Bern. The cost is $17 for Historical Society members and $22 for non-members; lunch is included.
Advance reservations must be made by calling the New Bern Historical Society at 252-638-8558, or can be ordered at www.NewBernHistorical.org/tickets.
The mission of the New Bern Historical Society is to celebrate and promote New Bern and its heritage through events and education. Offices are located in the historic Attmore-Oliver House at 511 Broad Street in New Bern. For more information, call 252-638-8558 or go to its website or Facebook page.
Here is your opportunity to be a part of a world premiere event telling one of New Bern’s most compelling stories, the Stanly-Spaight Duel.
Auditions for Honour, The Musical with book and lyrics by Bill Hand and music by Simon Spalding will be held July 10 at 6 p.m. and July 13 at 10 a.m. at Craven Community College at Orringer Auditorium.
Participants will be asked to present a one-minute monologue of their choice and to read from the script. They will also be asked to sing one of two songs. The songs and more details are found at www.Facebook.com/HonourTheMusical
Performance dates are Jan. 23-26 and Jan. 31-Feb 2, 2020. .
Honour, The Musical first tells the story of the 1802 duel between Richard Dobbs Spaight and John Stanly and, second, that of one of Spaight’s slaves, Sarah Rice, who was the mother of a child by John Stanly and who, one day, would gain her freedom and become an important part of New Bern history.
This project is presented through a partnership of the New Bern Historical Society and Craven Community College supported with Title Sponsorship of CarolinaEast Health System and Silver Sponsorship of the law firms of Stubbs & Perdue, and Oliver & Cheek.
Historical Society Historical Society Executive Director Mickey Miller said, “We are thrilled to partner with this dynamic group to present this world premiere of Honour, The Musical, a unique New Bern story. The mission of the New Bern Historical Society is to celebrate and promote New Bern and its heritage through events and education, and Honour fits our mission perfectly.”
Bill Hand is a local writer, historian and journalist who is also known for his weekly history column in the New Bern Sun Journal. He has also written the scripts and directed the Cedar Grove Cemetery Ghosts for the Historical Society’s annual Ghostwalk. Audiences will also remember his dinner theatre presentations from Athens of the South company, as well as his portrayal of Mark Twain and appearances in local theatre productions.
The music of Honour is the work of musician, historian, author and performer Simon Spalding. Simon has been a musician for 50-plus years performing with groups throughout the United States and in several European countries. His solo performances have taken him to a total of 12 European countries, and he has composed, arranged and performed music for dozens of commercial recordings and films. He also served for five years as Living History Programs Manager at Tryon Palace.
The mission of the New Bern Historical Society is to celebrate and promote New Bern and its heritage through events and education.
On June 19, 2019, Eastern North Carolinians will celebrate JUNETEENTH with the launch of The African American Heritage & Cultural Center of New Bern.
June 19 is JUNETEENTH, the national celebration of the emancipation of formerly enslaved peoples. The AAHCC launch is June 19 from 6-8 p.m. at 408 Hancock St. in New Bern.
Rick Fisher, newly elected Board President said, “JUNETEENTH was chosen because of its significance to African Americans throughout the country. Launching on JUNETEENTH in New Bern demonstrates our organization’s commitment to presenting the historical impact and progression of African American heritage and culture in Eastern North Carolina.”
The African American Heritage & Cultural Center (AAHCC) launch on JUNETEENTH is one event among many planned that week throughout New Bern.
“Our leadership looks forward to all the events and encourages families throughout the region to come to New Bern for the JUNETEENTH celebrations,” Fisher said.
“We are planning an evening of fellowship, good traditional food, music, and art”, said Board Vice-President Ann Herndon. “I’m honored to be on the founding Board of Directors and look forward to AAHCC’s first public event.”
Details and tickets for the event are available on EventBrite. The program begins at 6 p.m. and registrants are encouraged to park in the nearby free parking lot and arrive by 5:45.
AAHCC is strategic group of community leaders, elected officials and nonprofit organization leaders that gathered early in 2018 to discuss the continuing need to increase the visibility of the heritage of eastern North Carolina’s African American community.
Beyond the recorded history of the region that is included in traditional educational environments exists an important legacy of remarkable and determined individuals who contributed to the development of this region. As 2018 discussion continued, these early AAHCC leaders determined to established a 501(c)(3) nonprofit which would collaborate with existing nonprofits, organizations and groups to secure resources to present a broad spectrum of the African American Experience.
Future AAHCC programs will include developing an oral history library with universal access, and presenting creative performances, seminars and lectures, exhibitions of artwork including murals, artifacts and personal collections, along with music, food and live art events.
ADDITIONAL JUNETEENTH EVENTS IN NEW BERN
AAHCC’s June 19 launch is one of many JUNETEENTH events throughout New Bern:
• Friday, June 14 at 5-8 p.m. JUNETEENTH Opening Reception featuring a month- long exhibit of eight local African American artists at Craven Arts Council, Bank of the Arts, 317 Middle Street
• Monday June 17 at 7 p.m. Juneteenth Week Kickoff with Charles Tendell Podcast
• Tuesday June 18, Community Service/Health Day Health and Mental Health Free Screenings at the OMEGA Center. Watch for publication of registration details
• JUNETEENTH Wednesday June 19 at 6-8 p.m. AAHCC Public Lunch – register on EventBrite.
• Thursday June 20 at 7 p.m. Tryon Palace African American Lecture, NC History Center
• Friday June 21 at 7 p.m. “Celebration of Cultures” hosted by Y.U.P. Annual Rooftop Social, 401 Middle Street. Registration required.
• Saturday June 22, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. DufFest Presents Juneteenth hosted by GDRC, Stanley White Field
• Saturday, June 22, HBCA DAY at Omega Center. Watch for publication of registration details
• Sunday June 23 is Community Freedom and Fellowship Day at Local Churches and Union Point Park Recreation. Watch for publication of details
• Sunday June 23 Gospel Concert being planned at OMEGA Center. Watch for publication of details
The African American Heritage & Cultural Center of New Bern is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in New Bern North Carolina and serving communities throughout Eastern North Carolina. Contact information: Post Office Box 1354, NBNC 28563-1354 or TheCenterofNewBern@gmail.com.
In early 2019, AAHCC became a nonprofit organization and elected is founding Board of Directors and Officers.
Officers are Rick Fisher – President
Ann Herndon – Vice-President
Kathy Adolph – Secretary
Jim Copland – Treasurer
Board Directors – Carol Bonner Becton, Maria Cho, and Tahira Coble Copland.
AAHCC is staffed by Executive Director Carrie Gallagher.
Celebrate New Bern’s heritage and resilience with the New Bern Historical Society’s Heritage Homes Tour April 12-13.
Traditional historic homes, restorations in progress, newly completed renovations, and beautiful gardens will all be on display, many for the very first time. For two days visitors will be invited to tour 18 remarkable properties in five historic neighborhoods — Downtown, Dryborough, Riverside, Ghent, and DeGraffenried Park.
When you take a break at the Garden Party at the Heritage Homes Tour, you’ll be entertained by some of the area’s most popular musicians. Taking the Back Porch Stage at the Attmore-Oliver House from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Friday and Saturday will be Simon Spalding, The Duzan Duo, The DownEast Dulcimers and Big Jim and Kathy Kohler. The New Bern Historical Society is planning an exciting two-day event and the addition of live music means an extra layer of fun, and all part of your ticket. After a stop for refreshments and music at the Garden Party, you’ll be ready to continue your Tour.
Master Gardeners will present special Heritage Horticulture information, and guide visitors through three gardens, including the Historical Society’s Heritage Garden. Food trucks along the route will offer lunches to help guest maximize their tour schedules.
Tickets, good for both days, are available at New Bern Historical Society office at 511 Broad Street (252-638-8558) and on line atwww.NewBernHistorical.org/tickets. They are also available at outlets at Mitchell Hardware on Craven Street, the Bank of the Arts on Middle Street, Harris Teeter on MLK Blvd and in Carolina Colours. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the day of the tour, and $15 for active duty military, students, and those in groups of 10 or larger.
The popular Harry Goodman Battlefield Adventure Day for families isSaturday, March 23, at the New Bern Battlefield Park.
A day full of learning activities, period games and living history,it is held annually at the Park, which has been extensively upgraded by the New Bern Historical Society. This year the event is open to guests of all ages, with special activities for children 6-12 years old. Check-inbegins at 11:30 a.m.with activitiesfrom noon to 4 p.m.
Guests will be greeted by re-enactorsfrom the 5th and 7th North Carolina Regiments.The event kicks off with a commissary lunch for all guests, provided by Moore’s Bar-B-Que.
There will be Civil War era games, crafts, and hands-on displays for the entire family. Children will participate in practice drills and Civil War period activities and crafts. Historical Society battlefield guides will provide an informative and entertaining walking tour of the battlefield.
The day’s activities will conclude with an exciting artillery live fire demonstration by McCullough Living History.
Cost is $10 for the first family member, plus $5 for each additional adult or child, with a $20 maximum for a family.Special price for active duty military and families qualifying for free/reduced school lunch program. For more information or to register: New Bern Historical Society,252-638-8558 and www.newbernhistorical.org
At the end of the day they will take part in the American Battlefield Trust’s Park Day, an opportunity for the public to lend a hand at battlefields and parks across the country. Participants will help rake out the redans. Park Day will begin after the Adventure Day activities are completeat 4 p.m.
T-shirts will be given to the first 45 participants.
New Bern Battlefield Park is located off U.S. 70 at the entrance to the Taberna subdivision at 300 Battlefield Trail. This program is supported through the generosity of the family of Harry K. Goodman, who was key to the preservation and restoration of the Battlefield Park.
The New Bern Historical Society’s 29th annual ABC (Attic-Basement-Closet) Indoor Yard Sale is Saturday, March 9, from 8 a.m. until noon at the Knights of Columbus Building, 1125 Pinetree Drive, New Bern.
Everything from dishes to dolls to door knobs will be sold at this one-day-only fundraising sale. Executive Director Mickey Miller is expecting this to be one of the largest ABC Sales ever, as donations have overflowed storage spaces.
Value-spotting shoppers eagerly await this huge annual event. Items available include antiques, collectibles, pictures, furniture, kitchenware, hardware, toys, jewelry, linens, silver, seasonal decorations, sporting equipment, electronics, brass, dishes, and much more. This sale is especially known for its excellent antiques, silver, art, and fine collectibles. Be there early for best selection. Admission is free.
This year there is an abundance of very nice furniture, much of it in excellent condition. Furniture shoppers are reminded to come prepared to transport their purchases as it will all have to be removed by noon.
Collection for the sale is ongoing. To donate items to the ABC Yard Sale or for information call 252-638-8558 or e-mail. Bring your donated items to the Historical Society office, 511 Broad St., New Bern until March 4. Following that, bring them to the Knights of Columbus building as preparations will be underway there.
Proceeds from the ABC Sale benefit the educational programs of the New Bern Historical Society. The Historical Society is a non-profit organization whose mission is to celebrate and promote New Bern and its heritage through events and education. With a 501(c)(3) status, donations qualify as tax deductions to the extent allowed by law.
New Bernwas selected as one of the nation’s top retirement destinations and one of its best small retirement towns byWhereToRetire.comin its sixth edition of “America’s 100 Best Places to Retire,” a guidebook of the country’s most appealing retirement towns.
WhereToRetire.comspent 11 months researching more than 800 cities. The chosen cities vary in size, climate, amenities and lifestyle, and each falls into one of 10 categories that focuses on the city’s defining feature, such as beaches, mountains, low costs, four seasons and appealing downtowns. Each city profile combines extensive research, local knowledge and in-depth interviews with retirees who made the move.
New Bern is a certified retirement community. The Certified Retirement Community designation means a city has completed a comprehensive evaluation process with requirements outlined by the North Carolina General Assembly.Certified Retirement Communities are recognized for providing the amenities, services and opportunities retirees need to enjoy active and productive lives.
New Bern was recognized in April 2015 as one of the “10 Most Beautiful Towns in North Carolina,” and one of the “Top 10 Coastal Towns Where You Can Afford to Retire.”
Founded in 1710, New Bern it is the second oldest city in the state. It was the last colonial capital of North Carolina and its first state capital. “The City is a grand mix of carefully restored and maintained historical homes with old growth trees, a historic downtown, and contemporary houses ranging from condos to mansions, many with riverfront locations,” according to the website,Visit New Bern.
“New Bern’s character is palpable, and the people you meet are as vibrant as their surroundings. In addition to its beauty, New Bern is well-situated at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent Rivers, and only 35 miles from the Crystal Coast. The Atlantic Ocean is accessible by boat from New Bern, and New Bern’s rivers and creeks make a perfect playground for sailing, yachting, kayaking, Stand Up Paddle Boarding and fishing. New Bern has direct access to rivers and beaches without the high costs associated with beachfront living.”
Eight North Carolina cities were selected as top retirement destinations in “America’s 100 Best Places to Retire.” Other North Carolina towns are Boone/Blowing Rock, Charlotte, Durham, Hendersonville, Sylva, Wilmington, and Winston-Salem.
North Carolina had the second highest number of towns on the list, behind only Florida. In addition, Winston-Salem was among the Best Four-Season Towns; Charlotte and Durham were among the Best Low-Cost Towns; and Boone/Blowing Rock, Hendersonville and Sylva were among the Best Mountain Towns.
Mary Hamilton Chiles made this gingerbread Tryon Palace.
This amazing gingerbread Tryon Palace, sitting in the window of Bella’s Cafe on Middle Street, could be yours.
The New Bern Historical Society is holding a silent auction on site with bidding running through Dec. 15 inside Bella’s Café.
Mary Hamilton Chiles
This work of art is created by Mary Hamilton Chiles as a tribute to her mother, and Historical Society Board Member and tireless volunteer, Nancy Chiles. Nancy was key in the Historical Society’s success last year with the first Gingerbread Contest. Mary Hamilton has donated her work to be auctioned with the proceeds supporting New Bern Historical Society projects.
The silent auction is set up inside Bella’s Cafe & Catering at 323 Middle Street. The auction will close on Dec. 15 and the winner will be notified.
The Tryon Palace gingerbread is part of the 2nd annual Gingerbread House Contest and Display presented by the New Bern Historical Society. Gingerbread creations are displayed at 12 merchants throughout downtown New Bern:
Bella’s Café & Catering
The Four C’s
Be-Spoke Custom Florals
Ballantyne Framing and Art
The Birthplace of Pepsi
U.S. Post Office
Trent River Realty
All of the gingerbread houses will be in place until Dec. 18.
“We send our unending thanks to Mary Hamilton Chiles for this beautiful work remembering a beautiful lady!” said Historical Society Executive Director Mickey Miller. “We also thank Sandy Quinionez of Bella’s Cafe & Catering for sharing their brand-new window space.”
The New Bern Historical Society celebrates and promotes New Bern and its heritage through events and education. Offices are located in the historic Attmore Oliver House at 511 Broad St. in New Bern.
Scott Mason gives Historical Society’s Lore Lecture on Nov. 11.
WRAL’s Scott Mason has been travelling throughout North Carolina since1997meeting interesting characters, learning fascinating stories and discovering delicious food.
On Sunday, Nov. 11 at 2p.m. at the New Bern Historical Society’s annual Lore Lecture, he’ll share some of what he’s learned presentingTarheel Traveler,Stories from the Road.This is a free presentation.No tickets or reservations are necessary. Doors will open at 1pm. There will be a reception following the lecture.
Mason is a broadcast journalist with 35 years of television experience. He has won dozens of awards for documentaries, writing, and feature reporting, including three National Edward R. Murrow awards and 20 regional Emmys. The Electronic News Association of the Carolinas has twice named Scott North Carolina Television Reporter of the Year.
Mason has worked as a reporter and bureau chief for network affiliates in Chattanooga, Tenn.; Winston-Salem; and Dayton, Ohio.
In 1991, Mason joined the PBS affiliate in Richmond, Va., where he created, wrote, produced, and hosted a weekly news magazine.Virginia Currentswon more than 100 awards for journalistic excellence during Scott’s tenure. The United States Information Agency distributed the program to embassies worldwide.
His success caught the attention of WRAL-TV, the NBC affiliate in Raleigh. In April 1997, he became the station’s Documentary Producer. He researched, wrote, and produced ten documentaries before adding his talents to the nightly news team as a reporter specializing in features.
Today, Mason is known as the Tar Heel Traveler. His Monday-Thursday series on WRAL takes viewers along the back roads of North Carolina where he meets memorable characters, finds out-of-the-way placesand unearths fascinating historical footnotes. The series has become so popular it has led to Tar Heel Traveler half-hour specials, which he produces each quarter.
Mason has also published two books about his television adventures: Tar Heel Traveler: Journeys Across North Carolina (2010) and Tar Heel Traveler Eats: Food Journeys Across North Carolina (2014), both published by Rowman & Littlefield Press.
Mason‘s third book is FAITH and AIR: The Miracle List (2017, Light Messages Publishing), a creative nonfiction account of people he has profiled during his career who say they have experienced miracles.
The Dr. Richard K. Lore Lecture is presented annually by the New Bern Historical Society as a free event for all those interested in area history. It is in memory of,and is named for the Society’s long-time historian.
This lecture is presented by the New Bern Historical Society in partnership with Tryon Palace and is made possible by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.