We're New Bern's Storytellers!
The Historical Society's mission is to celebrate and promote this area's history through events and education. We are just one of many partner organizations dedicated to New Bern history. Check out these FAQs to help you find the information you need.
Frequently Asked Questions
What historic districts are in New Bern?
New Bern has four historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places - Downtown, Riverside, Ghent, and DeGraffenried. Two of these - Downtown and Riverside, are designated “Local Historic Districts,” meaning they have special legal protection for the exteriors of the historic structures in those two districts, as explained below.
Where do I find information about making exterior changes to my historical home?
At the Historical Society, we celebrate, we don't regulate! It is a common misconception that the Historical Society governs the rules and regulations regarding private properties in the historic districts. These regulations are actually governed by the City of New Bern's Development Services Department, specifically by the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC). You can find more about the HPC process and guidelines here or call the HPC Administrator at 252.639.7583.
Where can I learn more about my genealogy?
Unfortunately the Historical Society has very limited genealogical resources. The Kellenberger Room of the New Bern/Craven County Library contains a New Bern History and Genealogy Collection, with research librarians on staff. Visit them at this site http://newbern.cpclib.org/research/. In addition, the Craven County Genealogical Society can be found at http://www.cravengenealogy.org/.
Where can I do more detailed research about New Bern history?
The Kellenberger Room in the New Bern-Craven County Library is home to the Local History and Genealogy Collection and is staffed with research assistants. You can find out more by visiting their website at: http://newbern.cpclib.org/research/ or call by calling 252.638.7808.
Who can give me information about tax credits for changes and/or improvements I made to my house?
North Carolina’s State Historic Preservation Office provides information on the application process; visit their website here.
Are the Historical Society and Tryon Palace the same organization?
The Historical Society and Tryon Palace are partner organizations working together to promote New Bern history but are not officially connected. Tryon Palace and its NC History Center are owned by the state of North Carolina; please visit their website at: https://www.tryonpalace.org/. The Historical Society is a member-based nonprofit located at 511 Broad Street, downtown New Bern.
Where can I get more information about preservation of a historic building?
The New Bern Preservation Foundation's mission is "brick & mortar" restoration of historic properties. They hold preservation easements/covenants on the interiors of many historic properties. Visit their website at www.newbernpf.org.
Where do I find general visitor information and other historical attractions in town?
Please visit the New Bern Visitors' Center on 316 S Front Street, or their website at: https://visitnewbern.com/
Why do you no longer operate as a house museum? Can I still visit the Attmore-Oliver House?
The Historical Society's business offices occupy most of the Attmore-Oliver House, leaving little room for displays. Our limited collection of artifacts and photos can be toured by appointment; call 252.638.8558 to schedule your free self-guided tour. Guided house tours are also available for a small donation.