The New Bern Historical Society is dedicated to sharing the rich history of New Bern, NC and has been doing so since 1923. The Historical Society offices are located in the Attmore-Oliver House, c. 1790, in New Bern’s historic district. In addition to offices there is a Civil War display and room installations reflecting life in the mid-19th century. Beautiful historic gardens are located behind the house. The New Bern Historical Society also owns and stewards 30+ acres of the Battle of New Bern’s Civil War battlefield. The New Bern Battlefield Park is located near James City just off of Highway 70 East.
It is Wednesday, so “What is in the Attic with Jim?”
Local preservationist, Ben Parrish, donated a newspaper article to the NBHS, regarding the Bright house which was moved to its present location of 314 Craven Street in 1973. It was at least the third time this home was moved. Old deed and map records show the original home was on lot 217 at the south east corner of Broad and Bern Streets in New Bern. The house was constructed circa 1790 and was thought to have been built for Mary and James Bright who owned the lot from 1767-69. The lot was inherited from Mary’s father, Thomas Graves, after his death in 1767. Mary and James later moved from Craven County and there were several owners before the house was sold in 1852 to the Bishop family. The Bishop and Smallwood families used this home as a rental property until the mid 20th century. The 1882 Gray’s map shows the house at its original Bern Street address. The 1908 Sanborn insurance map shows the house to have been moved to a narrow lot of Broad Street, just around the corner from its original location. In 1967 the house was moved by the New Bern Historical Society behind the Attmore-Oliver House. Dr. and Mrs. W.F. Evans purchased the home and in 1973 it was moved to its current location on Craven Street. Restoration was undertaken and much of the original house, although there had been changes over time, was able to be preserved, including old moldings, mantels, wainscoting etc. The modern additions were a bathroom and kitchen since they were not included in this original Dutch Colonial home. (photo from Peter Sandbeck's Historic Architecture of New Bern and Craven County, pg 342)
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