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We have a museum in Rochester (Barge Canal Museum) very similar to this. It is full of local history (peoples names, places, local events) that are great for history buffs and grammar school kids. In fact, this museum in Roanoke Rapids has a very nice childrens' area with blocks and projects that give the kids hands-on learning about history. The history includes planning and construction of the canal, the use of the canal in the development of the local industries, how the canal played a part in the Civil War and the connection with the electric power plant.
There is also a seven mile hiking trail along the canal (which we did NOT partake in). But on a nice day, it would be a feature kids would like (they have stop-off points along the trail for rest and information markers).
But for most of us, this is like the Rochester counterpart.... a 15 minute walk through and a few "isn't that interesting" and then a half hour in the gift shop to get a souvenier.
The website for this museum is quite good and gives you the look and feel and most of the content of the actual museum (even the benefit of the on-line gift shop).
Updated Feb 23, 2007
Address: 15 Jackson Street
This little shop which features English (as in Great Britain) items for sale was really a surprise to see in this out-of-the-way location. It was a tea boutique and restaurant all-in-one.
When you walk in and the little chimes ring your entrance, the shop owner/clerk promptly asks "can I help you?", and we answer "just looking".
We did not take a table but roamed around the various rooms looking at all the great trinkets for sale. We spent about a half hour browsing the wide selection of British packaged foods available. Teas, tea sandwiches, soups, scones, crumpets, several dessert selections were on the menu. There were other British style treats like cookies and candies. Then a section of tea related gifts (cups, saucers, sugar bowls, trays, silver plateware).
You could even reserve a private meeting room and a Little Princess party room if you wanted a tea party for your group or child.
We thanked the clerk and left.
Updated Jul 3, 2007
Address: 1020 Roanoke Avenue