Noteworthy Museums, North Carolina

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  • Types of boats
    Types of boats
    by grandmaR
  • Bob walking through the exhibits
    Bob walking through the exhibits
    by grandmaR
  • Bob walking up the the Tryon Palace
    Bob walking up the the Tryon Palace
    by grandmaR
  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    First Flight Centennial Pavilion

    by grandmaR Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bob walking through the exhibits

    The Wright Brothers National Monument has a monument, an air strip, a recreation of the Wright Brother's camp, and a visitor center which houses exhibits including reproductions of their wind tunnel, the 1902 glider and the 1903 Flyer. There are periodic ranger talks explaining the important advances that the Wright Brothers made and how their plane worked.

    At the time of the Centennial of Flight celebration, the original visitor's center at the Wright Brother's National Monument was judged as "inadequate". So funds were raised by commericial firms and the Centennial Pavilion was built. Content partners (which means organizations who have exhibits here) include NASA, the United States Air Force, The Wright Experience, Outer Banks History Center, General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission and others.

    There was a 70 minute presentation about the Wright's experience on the island - including the first boat trip from Elizabeth City where the dinghy to get out to the big boat was leaking and the big boat was leaking and the sails were worn and the lines were frayed. Wilbur was afraid to eat any of the food on the ship. He got to Kitty Hawk 36 hours later - hungry.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Hang Gliding

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    North Carolina Maritime Museum

    by grandmaR Updated May 7, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Types of boats

    This museum is free.

    They had a big shell collection, and a lot of objects arranged in a quiz (like a bottle wrapped in cords, and a little Seagull motor) and a lot of stuffed fish.

    There were different kinds of boats and explanations about the various styles of boats. There was a small section on Blackbeard, and one on duck decoys including one that flapped its wings.

    Some volunteers were there with fossils that they had found locally - a lot of sharks teeth. They handed me a big chunk of fossil and asked me what it was, and I said it looked like a grinding tooth. They were impressed, because it was a mammoth tooth. But they didn't know that my degree was in zoology.

    This museum has branches in Southport and Roanoke, but I have not visited there.

    MUSEUM HOURS OF OPERATION:

    Monday-Friday: 9:00a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Saturday: 10:00a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Sunday: 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

    The Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center, located across from the main museum building, is open for viewing small craft, wooden boat construction and restoration, and ship model building.

    WATERCRAFT CENTER HOURS OF OPERATION:

    Monday-Friday: 9:00a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Saturday: 10:00a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Sunday: 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Family Travel

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    Tryon Palace Historic Sites & Gardens

    by grandmaR Written May 7, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bob walking up the the Tryon Palace

    Tryon Palace which was finished in 1770 was the first permanent capitol of the Colony of North Carolina. It is not handicapped accessible.

    You have to go with the docent for the tour of the Palace. which are on the hour and half hour. She was in costume, and she explained that the Palace was built kind of like the White House - as a government building with family living quarters upstairs by the colonial Governor of NC William Tryon. He lived in it only 13 months after it was completed before he was promoted to NY. He was living in Fort George in NY when there was a fire and all of his possessions were burned. So although they have an inventory of his stuff, they don't have any of the actual stuff.

    After the Revolution, it was used by the government for meetings and balls, but it burned down in 1798 because a servant let a candle ignite some straw in the basement. They saved the stable and the kitchen by knocking down the wooden walkways between them.

    Then the land was divided into lots, and people built on them. The stable was turned into apartments, but the kitchen disappeared. In the late 1940s one of the local women decided that the Palace should be rebuilt and she left money for it. So the land was purchased back and the foundations were excavated and the whole thing was rebuilt from the plans. Furniture to match as closely as possible the inventory was purchased in England. It was reopened in 1959.

    When we went into the Council Chamber, we met the "governor" - a male docent dressed in costume who asked us where we were from. One of the ladies was from Seattle, and he had never heard of this place - they eventually decided that it must be a place on the western frontier.

    After that we walked over to the reconstructed kitchen where they had demonstrations of cooking, spinning and weaving and then had lunch before we Dixon and Stanley houses and the stables.

    The gardens in the picture on each side of the walkway were being reconstructed to be more like the original.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture

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    Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte

    by acemj Written Nov 19, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Charlotte's best art museum used to be the U.S. mint and was located in Uptown until it was actually move a few miles down the road to its present location. Tuesday nights are free and well worth a visit of about two hours.

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