'Days Gone By' Program at Somerset Place Aug. 14


Summer is here, flowers and centuries-old trees are in full bloom, and cool breezes from Lake Phelps stave off the stifling heat. The 10th annual “Days Gone By” living history event at Somerset Place State Historic Site offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy this beautiful weather.

The community is invited to learn about plantation life on Saturday, Aug. 14 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. through historic trades and crafts, living history, hands-on historic activities with costumed interpreters, and tours of the plantation. Vendors will be selling food and wares as well. A donation of $2 for admission is welcomed, and fees will be applicable for guided tours.

Watch as period artisans and craftspeople, including an authentic blacksmith, demonstrate their trades. Transport yourself into the cypress swamps that once dominated the landscape as a sawyer crosscuts logs and a shingle maker carves his wares. A costumed doctor from the mid-19th century will discuss medical practices in the plantation hospital, while a Civil War historian will demonstrate wartime medicine in a field hospital.

Learn about Native American life on the shores of Lake Phelps. Children of all ages can join in hands-on activities to make sedge brooms or corn husk dolls and practice their quill writing skills. Washington County Health Department will provide a general health information booth with giveaways. Discover Somerset’s diverse history on two different guided tours of the historic plantation: a tour that focuses on the 1840s and a special tour covering the post-Civil War era. Engage in a presentation about how to research family genealogy provided by the State Archives of North Carolina.

Somerset Place is a representative state historic site offering a comprehensive view of 19th century life on a large North Carolina plantation. The plantation once encompassed more than 100,000 acres. During its 80-year history, more than 861 enslaved African Americans lived and worked at Somerset.

For additional information, please call (252) 379-6020. Somerset Place is located at 2572 Lake Shore Road, Creswell. It is administered by the Division of State Historic Sites in the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.