Category: New Bern Historical Society

January 2nd, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

It’s a treasure hunt story worthy of Indiana Jones, led by historian Ed Bearss. On Dec. 12, 1862, naval history was made when the Union ironclad USS Cairo (pronounced “KAY-row”), involved in the campaign against Vicksburg, was sunk in twelve short minutes in Mississippi’s Yazoo River. It was reportedly the first armored ship sunk by a remotely detonated mine. The gunboat lay largely forgotten for 98 years until a group led by Ed Bearss, then Vicksburg National Military Park Chief Historian, discovered the hulk resting on the bottom of the river north of Vicksburg.

On Sunday, January 13, at 2 p.m. at the North Carolina History Center, the now 95-year-old Chief Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service, Ed Bearss will recount the raising of the Cairo. The story of the difficult salvage operations and its final restoration, in Ed’s words “how not to raise an ironclad” is a story only Ed can tell with his characteristic humility and humor.

A Marine Corps veteran of WWII injured at Suicide Creek, Ed Bearss is a renowned military historian, an author known for his work on the American Civil War and World War II eras, and a popular tour guide of historic battlefields for The Smithsonian Associates. A respected PBS commentator, Bearss was one of the stars of Ken Burns’ award-winning PBS TV series “The Civil War.” After many years as a historian with the National Park Service, he served as Chief Historian and is now Chief Historian Emeritus.

Bearss has led thousands of unique tours of historic sites associated with the Civil War, the American Revolution, World War I and World War II in Europe, Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, and the American West. He has been named by Smithsonian Magazine as one of the “35 Who Made A Difference,” along with the likes of Maya Angelou, Steven Spielberg, and Sally Ride. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear this icon.

Bearss was instrumental in researching and planning the restoration of New Bern’s Civil War Battlefield Park. This will be his thirteenth visit to New Bern.

Reservations are recommended and can be made with a suggested $10 donation, with all proceeds going to help with extensive hurricane repairs at New Bern Civil War Battlefield Park. A reception will follow the presentation. This lecture is presented by the New Bern Historical Society and the New Bern Civil War Round Table in partnership with Tryon Palace.

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 Street in New Bern.  For more information, call 252-638-8558 or go or

Posted in New Bern, New Bern Historical Society

December 7th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

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.

Nancy Chiles

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:

  • Nautical Wheelers
  • Bella’s Café & Catering
  • Carolina Creations
  • Mitchell’s Hardware
  • WITN
  • The Four C’s
  • Edward Jones
  • 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.

For more information, call 252-638-8558 or go or

Posted in Downtown New Bern, History, New Bern Historical Society

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