Search results for Gertrude Carraway

A Preservation Milestone for North Carolina

The first board meeting of the N.C. Society for the Preservation of Antiquities. Image from the Office of Archives and History.

The first board meeting of the N.C. Society for the Preservation of Antiquities.
Image from the Office of Archives and History.

On December 7, 1939, the North Carolina Society for the Preservation of Antiquities, predecessor to what’s now Preservation North Carolina, met for the first time in the ballroom of the Carolina Hotel in Raleigh.

Colonel Joseph Hyde Pratt, a geologist and veteran of the Thirtieth “Old Hickory” Division that broke the Hindenburg Line during World War I, presided. Janie Gosney was secretary-treasurer. The December general meeting followed an October 20 organizational meeting in the State Capitol.

The inclusion of a broad range of civic-minded citizens from across the state propelled the group. The keynote speaker was Gertrude Carraway of New Bern, who called for the restoration of Tryon Palace.  Others addressed the need for similar work in Bath and for collaborative efforts between historians and archaeologists.

Projects endorsed at that first session included the identification of a plantation house, a covered bridge, a waterwheel mill, and multiple battlefields for restoration projects.

Within two years the organization had chapters in Raleigh, Greensboro, Goldsboro and Asheville. The death of Colonel Pratt in 1942 and the onset of World War II slowed the group’s progress but the sound footing ensured its success.

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts, nature and culture, visit DNCR online. To receive these updates automatically each day, make sure you subscribe by email using the box on the right, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Upper House of Assembly Meets at the Newly-Constructed Tryon Palace

Plans showing the front elevation of Tryon Palace designed by John Hawks in 1767. Image from the Office of Archives and History

Plans showing the front elevation of Tryon Palace designed by John Hawks in 1767. Image from the Office of Archives and History

On December 5, 1770, the Upper House of Assembly first met in the Council Chamber of the newly-constructed “Government House” in New Bern. Later that evening, Governor William Tryon hosted a grand ball – complete with fireworks. The newly built Government House was not celebrated by all North Carolina citizens, however. In fact, many people, upset over the taxes imposed to build the structure, began to call the Government House “Tryon’s Palace.”

Tryon Palace served as the backdrop for North Carolina’s transformation from colony to statehood. In May 1775, then Royal Governor Josiah Martin fled the palace as patriot forces approached New Bern. When North Carolina became an independent state, the first four governors resided in Tryon Palace until Raleigh became the new capitol in 1794.

After a fire destroyed all but the kitchen and stable offices in 1798, most of the original land was utilized in highway and housing developments. In the 1940s, public interest and private donations convinced the state to consider the feasibility of bringing Tryon Palace back to life. The palace, reconstructed to the original design, opened as a public museum in 1959. Now a state historic site, Tryon Palace stands as a reminder of North Carolina’s rich historical legacy.

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Tryon Palace, Rebuilt from Its Ashes

Image from the State Archives

Image from the State Archives

On April 8, 1959, the restored Tryon Palace opened to the public.

Interest in rebuilding the parts of the Palace that were lost in a 1798 fire was shown as early as 1925, but it wasn’t until 1945 that Gov. R. Gregg Cherry appointed a commission to study the idea and organize restoration efforts. Maude Moore Latham, a New Bern native who had played in the Palace ruins as a child, served as commission’s chair and committed substantial amounts of her own money to the project.

Gov. and Mrs. J. M. Broughton and Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Cannon in Williamsburg, Va. doing research for the restoration of Tryon Palace

Gov. and Mrs. J. M. Broughton ,and Mr. and Mrs.
C. A. Cannon in Williamsburg, Va. doing research for the restoration of Tryon Palace. Image from
the N.C. Museum of History

The commission acquired the site of the original Palace with money from the General Assembly and, in 1951, the Boston firm that had restored Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia was hired to help with the restoration.

Two original copies of drawings of Palace done by its first architect John Hawks, extensive historical research, and substantial archaeological evidence guided the work. Workers located the building’s original foundations as construction began. As the excavations progressed, interior designers were aided by the discovery of pieces of marble, brass, molding and glass.

The restoration’s total cost came in at around $3.5 million, and, after its re-opening, the Palace quickly became one of the most visited historic sites in the state.

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For more about North Carolina’s history, arts and culture, visit Cultural Resources online. To receive these updates automatically each day, make sure you subscribe by email using the box on the right, and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

Upper House of Assembly Meets at the Newly-Constructed Tryon Palace

Plans showing the front elevation of Tryon Palace designed by John Hawks in 1767. Image from the Office of Archives and History

Plans showing the front elevation of Tryon Palace designed by John Hawks in 1767. Image from the Office of Archives and History

On December 5, 1770, the Upper House of Assembly first met in the Council Chamber of the newly-constructed “Government House” in New Bern. Later that evening, Governor William Tryon hosted a grand ball – complete with fireworks. The newly built Government House was not celebrated by all North Carolina citizens, however. In fact, many people, upset over the taxes imposed to build the structure, began to call the Government House “Tryon’s Palace.”

Tryon Palace served as the backdrop for North Carolina’s transformation from colony to statehood. In May 1775, then Royal Governor Josiah Martin fled the palace as patriot forces approached New Bern. When North Carolina became an independent state, the first four governors resided in Tryon Palace until Raleigh became the new capitol in 1794.

After a fire destroyed all but the kitchen and stable offices in 1798, most of the original land was utilized in highway and housing developments. In the 1940s, public interest and private donations convinced the state to consider the feasibility of bringing Tryon Palace back to life. The palace, reconstructed to the original design, opened as a public museum in 1959. Now a state historic site, Tryon Palace stands as a reminder of North Carolina’s rich historical legacy.

Other related resources:

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts and culture, visit Cultural Resources online. To receive these updates automatically each day, make sure you subscribe by email using the box on the right, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.