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Eastern North Carolina Brew and Que Fest and Shipbuilding Saturday at CSS Neuse

CSS Neuse Shipbuilding Program

Join the fun in downtown Kinston at the Eastern North Carolina Brew & Que Fest with special events, food and history. The CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center will host a free Shipbuilding Saturday program Oct. 21, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Experience history, paint a model ironclad for $2, and make a memory and keepsake.

“This program will give visitors a chance to learn about 19th century shipbuilding techniques in a creative way and to enjoy painting a wooden ironclad to take home,” Programs Coordinator Rachel Kennedy observes.

“Shipbuilding Saturday” commemorates the construction of the CSS Neuse. The Confederate Navy Department on Oct. 17, 1862, awarded a contract to shipbuilders Howard & Ellis of New Bern to construct an ironclad warship. The goal was to protect the lower Neuse River and New Bern region. Since New Bern had been Union occupied since March 1862, the ship had to be constructed much further inland, near modern day Seven Springs.

In honor of the shipbuilding tradition, a 1 p.m. presentation on 19th century shipbuilding techniques will be presented featuring curator Paul Fontenoy, N.C. Maritime Museum. Traditional ship's carpenter Danny Nye will demonstrate hull caulking and other techniques.

The program will include hands on children’s activities, a display of teaching artifacts that visitors can touch and hold and a demonstration of rope making.

The CSS Neuse is the only remaining commissioned Confederate ironclad above water. It is part of a new technology that the Confederacy used to combat the superior manpower and firepower of the Union Navy. Learn about this technological advance and warfare in eastern North Carolina at the CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center. The Confederate Navy launched the CSS Neuse attempting to gain control of the lower Neuse River and New Bern, but ultimately destroyed the vessel to keep it out of Union hands.

The CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center is located at 100 N. Queen St., Kinston, N.C., and open Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: adults $5, senior/active military $4, Students (ages 3-12) $3, ages 2 and under free. 

For additional information, please call the site at (252) 526-9600 x 222. The CSS Neuse Center is within the Division of State Historic Sites in the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

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