New Bern Academy Museum, New Bern

#30 of 31 in Things to do in New Bern
History Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
The New Bern Academy Museum is free and open to the public, and located in an 1809 building four blocks from Tryon Palace in the heart of New Bern's historic residential district at the corner of New and Hancock streets.

Originally a school house for both boys and girls, the New Bern Academy served as a hospital in the Civil War and in 1881 became part of the New Bern graded school system which used it for classes until 1971.

Today, the Academy building's original classrooms are home to four permanent exhibits focused on the Civil War, New Bern Architecture, and the history of the building itself.

"Face to Face: Civil War Sketches and Stories": Experience New Bern's Occupation through the eyes of African Americans, Confederates, Union soldiers, and women caught between both North and South. Spanning the March 1862 invasion of Burnside's forces, through the devastation of the 1864 yellow fever epidemic, "Face to Face" reveals the daily lives of both military officials and citizens under their rule through artifacts, audiovisual panels, compelling stories, and period images.

Architecture Exhibit: Focuses on the historic architecture of New Bern, the construction techniques used in erecting buildings in this region, and on the lives and work of New Bern's 18th- and 19th-century builders and architects. Preserved building materials, drawings, and a portico donated by the New Bern Historical Society help illustrate New Bern's Victorian, Federal, and Antebellum architecture.

Second Floor

Civil War Military Occupation Exhibit: Focuses on the Confederate defense of the city, the Battle of New Bern, the Union occupation of the town, and the role that the Academy building played during the War.

History of Education Exhibit: Presents the history of education in New Bern from the late 18th through the 19th century, including a model Lancasterian schoolroom.
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New Bern Academy Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
16 reviews
  • I had been to New Bern for over four years and had never had even one person tell me about this Awesome Museum! It was a walk back into time for me as the first floor was filled with architecture...  more »
  • The Academy is a not open often so we had to time our visit to include the building with our stop. The tour is self guided and short but it has an excellent history connecting it to the education of.....  more »
  • Great stop if you're a history buff! The volunteer docent was extremely knowledgeable of the school, local history, architecture, and the extraordinary preservation efforts accomplished in New Bern. That's what made this stop a treat. The museum itself is self guided with uncluttered and well laid out exhibits. Donations are accepted.
  • This quaint museum is a great place to learn about the history of the area.

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