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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Where Would You Go?

Posted February 1, 2008

Friends are coming in from out of state. They are huge history buffs. They want you to take them to FIVE PLACES that best tell the history of North Carolina.

Where would you take them?

Please give your thoughts.

Today's blog topic was triggered by a wonderful UNC TV program last night. Archeologists discovered remnants of a 16th century Spanish settlement near Morganton where I grew up in the NC Foothills. This fort and settlement of 120 Spaniards existed two decades before the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island at Manteo.

Spain planned to use the settlement to help convert natives to Catholicism and carve out a short route to the gold and other riches of Mexico. Archeologist Rob Beck told the News Herald just how significant the Morganton discovery is: "This is a place here under our feet that is as important as the areas of Rome, Peru and Egypt."

That's both impressive and fascinating!

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  • thefensk Feb 1, 2008

    All great suggestions ... here are a few I didn't see listed.

    Duke Homestead in Durham ... it gives a great overview of the entire tobacco industry and its effect on NC.

    The House-in-the-Horseshoe near Sanford.

    The historic homes of Hillsborough

    Seagrove (surprised nobody mentioned this or maybe I missed it)

    And one twofer: Alamance Battleground and a wonderful gem: The Alamance County Historical Museum, just up the road from the battleground both near Burlington.

  • ltjcc602 Feb 1, 2008

    Why hasn't anyone mentioned Historic Bath? What about the Bentonville Battleground?

  • murdock Feb 1, 2008

    Roanoke Island (for the history), Tryon Palace (the majesty), Wilmington (the old and new altogether with the beach), Cherokee (the heritage), and Charlotte(the busy but fun)

  • no more - no less Feb 1, 2008

    Old Brunswick Town

  • cherriedragon Feb 1, 2008

    I would take them to General McArthurs Restaurant to experience a true southern meal... buffet style...

  • Jackieann Feb 1, 2008

    1. Aurora Fossil Museum and dig, Aurora (very early history)
    2. USS North Carolina Battleship, Wilmington (NC in WWII)
    3. Tobacco Museum, Kenly
    (Farm life in NC. Visit during a special event)
    4. The Lost Colony, Roanoke Island
    5. Unto These Hills, Cherokee.

  • Glass Half Full Feb 1, 2008

    Let's see, we'll go to the coast and see The Lost Colony, to the mountains to see Unto these Hills and the museums in and around Cherokee, Biltmore House and grounds, and Raleigh for visits to all the museums and historical sights around town and eat at COOPERS!

  • Wifeandkids Feb 1, 2008

    If you're looking for something close to Raleigh, the Bennett Place in Durham, Mordecai Historic Park in Raleigh which includes the Andrew Johnson birthplace.

  • annculter Feb 1, 2008

    Occoneechee Speedway in Hillsborough. The first speedway built for NASCAR is now a nature park. I've heard they have plans to put a highway over it...

    http://www.enoriver.org/eno/parks/occspdwy.htm

    Either that or the Super Walmart at Brier Creek.

  • Celt Feb 1, 2008

    The places I would take my guest may not be the most dramatic in the state, but would have rich history. I would want to give them a taste of the last 5 centuries. So my choices

    16th Century: First we would go to Roanoke Island and search for the Lost Colony.
    17th Century: From there, we would sail up the Albemarle Sound and into the region that would become our first capital.
    18th Century: Over to Greensboro to think about the Battle of Guilford Courthouse.
    19th Century: No historic trip should miss Wilmington, the site of the last Southern port to fall.
    20th Century: We would finally drive across to Biltmore which, while built in the 19th Century, became a public treasure in the 20th.

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