Flossie’s Fridays: Week 48

Flossie wants to show you a monument that has been seen on the streets of Bath since 1924.  It was a big job and a long time in the making!  The North Carolina Historical Commission and the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners presented the Bath Historical Society with a bronze plaque commemorating the founding and incorporation of Bath.  It seems the original intent was to mount the plaque at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, but for some reason, that installation never happened.


Several years went by and Flossie doesn’t know where the plaque stayed in the meantime.  The town needed a monument on which to display the plaque!   Mr. and Mrs. Timothy A. Brooks and Miss Lida T. Rodman traveled to the Neverson Quarry near Raleigh to select stones.  They were very heavy stones – two were chosen – the base weighed 16,000 pounds!  The top stone weighed 12,000 pounds.  After the stones were shipped by train to Bunyan (about 10 miles west of Bath) it became a real challenge to get them the rest of the way to town.  The bumpy road that the truck and trailer had to ride caused both stones to bounce out of the trailer!  Surry Bowen of Pinetown sent equipment to help reload the boulders.  Once they arrived at the Bath bridge, there was some worry that the wooden bridge couldn’t withstand the weight of the stones.  Mr. Brooks used heavy wooden beams from his lumber mill to brace the bridge.

Whew!  The monument was finally erected and was placed in the center of Carteret Street/Main Street intersection.  An unveiling celebration was held on June 19, 1924.  About 4,000 people attended the ceremony.  Men barbequed 32 pigs all night to get ready.  School children raised money to help with other food costs; they raised $150 but only $50 was needed for the lunch, so extra money was donated to the Bath Elementary School library for books.  The two girls who tied in raising the most money were able to unveil the marker.  The picture below shows the brand new marker with Mary Arcadia Tankard on the left and Helen Waters on the right. Their mothers or someone else made Colonial style costumes for them to wear for the occasion.


In 1960, the marker was moved back from its original location; it was pushed back onto North Main Street’s entrance due to the new bridge and widening of the road to allow for the paving of Highway 92 through Bath.  Flossie wants to thank Dr. Alan Watson for capturing this and much more information in his book Bath: The First Town in North Carolina, with a chapter of Bath’s 20th century history contributed by Bea Latham and Patricia Samford.


Re-Cap: Christmas Open House

Christmas Open House was a HUGE success! This year a lot of changes were made to the program, and a lot of new activities were in place which brought members of the community, as well as people from as far away as Virginia and Raleigh to Historic Bath Site last Saturday.

DSC03781This year Bath Elementary participated in Christmas Open House in two different ways: a Children’s Christmas Art Show and the 7th and 8th Grade Choir performed Christmas Carols at the Bonner House to open the afternoon activities.

Secretary Klutz, Deputy Secretary Cochran, Deputy Director Dr. Cherry, and family and friends gather around the AdHoc Players to learn about 18th century music

Secretary Klutz, Deputy Secretary Cochran, Deputy Director Dr. Cherry, and family and friends gather around the AdHoc Players to learn about 18th century music

The AdHoc Players from New Bern and Kinston, NC came to the
Palmer-Marsh House to perform the 18th century sounds of the holidays using instruments such as the harpsichord, horns and the hurdy-gurdy – as well as their beautiful voices!

Apple Pressing

Apple Pressing

Apple Pressing demonstrations at the 19th century Bonner House involved children, and adults, in this very popular activity. They were able to see, and learn, how the apple press worked to make cider!

The spread of food made in the Bonner Kitchen!

The spread of food made in the Bonner Kitchen!

One of our Historic Interpreters cooked, and baked, a fine spread in the Bonner House Kitchen using all 19th century cooking techniques. She also discussed with visitors the cooking and baking process, and gave them information about the different types of meals in the 19th century.

Decorating Gingerbread Men made by the Gingerbread Bakery in Belhaven!

Decorating Gingerbread Men made by the Gingerbread Bakery in Belhaven!

For a bit of fun, we decorated Gingerbread Men! The Gingerbread Bakery in Belhaven, NC supplied 300 gingerbread men for us to decorate and enjoy. Adults and children of all ages joined in on the fun and greatly enjoyed this part of the day!


Children, and adults, also enjoyed the craft activities we had on hand! In the morning we made paper chains and in the afternoon the craft would be the ever popular pomanders. You can do both of these at home easily, and they decorate your house so nicely!

3 generations descended from Edmund Harding.

3 generations descended from Edmund Harding.

Our first visitors of the day were very special! The Grandson, Great-Grand Daughter and Great-Great Grandsons of Edmund Harding came from Greenville, NC to spend the day with us.

Now, of course we had more than what you see above going on. The Historic Homes were decorated in the Colonial Revival decorative style for people to tour through, Santa Claus came to town for a couple of hours and there was a panel presentation on the 25th anniversary of the Palmer-Marsh House fire. Needless to say, we were very busy and greatly appreciate 564 of you coming out to spend the beautiful day with us, and to support our wonderful site!

We hope to see all of you, and even more of you, next year in 2015….who knows what we’ll have up our sleeve for next time! 😉

Historic Bath Site offers North Carolina State Government Internship

From May 26th-July 31st 2015, an undergraduate or graduate level student will have the opportunity to (PAID) work at Historic Bath Site as an Educational Programming and Visitor Services Intern! We are so excited to have the possibility to work with a student through the YAIO NC State Government Internship program and to give a student a very well rounded internship that will be able to help them in their careers outside of university.

It will be an exciting year at Historic Bath Site as we will be celebrating our 310th anniversary as the “First Town”, and 300th anniversary as the “First Port”, of North Carolina! The Intern will be developing new educational programming for Grades K-12 in the form of field trip offerings and workshops. They will also be gaining experience with creating and writing Lesson Plans, standardizing educational programs and field trip offerings, and aiding in the preparation and running of annual events for children and the general public. Visitor services will also be a focus, as will learning about the history of the Town of Bath.

Jamie, our Assistant Site Manager, knows the importance of internships. She graduated with a BA (Honors) in Anthropology and History, and went on to gain a Masters degree in Public Archaeology. Throughout her undergraduate career, Jamie gained internship experience in field archaeology – CRM (Cultural Resource Management) work and through several archaeology field schools from pre-historic to early 20th century sites. Whilst in graduate school in London, England, she also interned at the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, Banquet House, the Thames Discovery Programme and the Council for British Archaeology. She attributes her quick gain of full-time employment in the cultural heritage field to, not only her educational and past employment background, but the internships that she completed throughout the 6 year educational period. Her one piece of advice to anyone she knows in undergraduate or graduate work in any field is to, “INTERN! INTERN! INTERN!”

So, if you would like to take Jamie’s advice and “INTERN! INTERN! INTERN!”….copy and paste the link below and look, not only at Historic Bath Site’s internship opportunity, but all of the rest of the internships offered throughout the State of North Carolina with all of the different departments. These internships are not just for North Carolina Historic Sites…..there are many other departments represented…..so many opportunities for students to get involved! Look at the website and the program booklet and pass it on. The deadline for applications is coming soon!


Heritage Days: A Quest Through Time!


Heritage Days: A Quest Through Time! occurred at Historic Bath Site over a 6 day time period over the past couple of weeks. Throughout the 6 days, we played host to all Beaufort County 4th Grade Students at John Small, Bath, Northeast, Chocowinity and Snowden, as well as a group of 40 students from the Washington Montessori….and we had a blast!


The students this year were introduced to 8 key figures in Bath’s history – John Lawson, Governor Eden, Tobias Knight, Jacob Van Der Veer, Edmund Harding, Joseph Bonner, Michael Coutanche and Robert Palmer. As they wandered through the different hands-on, inquiry based stations the students were given Quest Clues to allow them to think more about the people of Bath back in the 18th and 19th centuries, and how different life was back then compared to the modern 21st century world we live in.


There were numerous stations set up for the students to enjoy along their Quest for Knowledge, including:
Rope-making, Quill Writing, Cross Cut Sawing, Knot Tying, 18th and 19th Century Life, Colonial Games and Natural History.


We are so happy to have had all of the students, teachers and parents along for this historical journey! We can’t wait til it happens again next year!

Press Release: St. Thomas Church and Glebe House Lecture


 Lecture and Behind-The-Scenes Tour Surround North Carolina’s Oldest Church
Lecturer to discuss the history of St. Thomas, North Carolina’s oldest standing church, and take participants on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Glebe House restoration project


 BATH, NC – Saturday, September 6th, 2014 from 10:00am – 12:00pm

 Historic Bath is home to North Carolina’s oldest standing church. In the year 1734, St. Thomas Episcopal Church was built and has been a place of interest in Bath’s history ever since. On Saturday, September 6th Historic Bath Site will be hosting a lecture discussing the history of St. Thomas Church and the Williams “Glebe” House (circa 1830).

The lecturer, Ms. Josephine Hookway, is a member of the Historic Bath Commission,  a long-time member of the St. Thomas congregation and a resident of Bath. Mrs. Hookway will also lead a behind-the-scenes tour of the Glebe House so that lecture participants may come to fully understand the history of the location while viewing the restoration project from the inside! 

The lecture and tour are both free, though donations will be accepted for both the Historic Bath Site and the Glebe House Restoration Project. The lecture and tour will begin at the Historic Bath Site Visitor Center (207 Carteret Street) at 10:00am, and end at the Glebe House around 12:00pm. The buildings are within a 1 block walking distance. Participants may park at either the Visitor Center or St. Thomas Church parking lot. 

Space is limited. It is suggested that you arrive early for this not-to-be-missed lecture and behind-the-scenes tour!

For more information about the St. Thomas Church and Glebe House lecture please call (252)-923-3971.

Historic Bath State Historic Site Media Contact

Jamie Mesrobian, Assistant Site Manager
Phone: (252)-923-3971
Email: jamie.mesrobian@ncdcr.gov

 About Historic Bath State Historic Site

Historic Bath State Historic Site is one of the sites within the Department of Cultural Resources’ Division of State Historic Sites & Properties that people can visit to learn of our state’s interesting and varied history. Historic Bath is also a member of the Historic Albemarle Tour.

Bath is a town of firsts! The town became North Carolina’s first town; it was incorporated in 1705. Christopher Gale, the first chief justice of the colony, resided here. Bath became the first official port of entry for the colony, the location of the first public library in North Carolina and the first shipyard was established here. Visiting Bath today, it is easy to see how this protected little harbor appealed to early settlers, and, of course, Blackbeard.

To begin your experience, come by the Visitor Center to purchase tickets to take a guided tour through our two historic homes, the Palmer-Marsh House (1751) and the Joseph Bonner House (1830). Watch the 15 minute orientation video and visit our museum store. The Van Der Veer House hosts exhibits, and there are gardens, family graveyards belonging to our historic homes and Bonner’s Point to explore.

Tickets and information are available at the Visitor Center: 207 Carteret Street Bath, NC 27808, Tuesday-Saturday 9a.m.-5p,m (final house tour begins at 4p.m.). For more information about directions, tickets, special events and programs, group tours, weddings and parties, and more please contact: (252)-923-3971 or visit: www.bath.nchistoricsites.com

About the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources

The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources (NCDCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s cultural resources to build the social, cultural and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susan Kluttz, NCDCR’s mission is to enrich lives and communities by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history and libraries in North Carolina that will spark creativity, stimulate learning, preserve the state’s history and promote the creative economy. NCDCR was the first state organization in the nation to include all agencies for arts and culture under one umbrella. 

Through arts efforts led by the N.C. Arts Council, the N.C. Symphony and the N.C. Museum of Art, NCDCR offers the opportunity for enriching arts education for young and old alike and spurring the economic stimulus engine for our state’s communities. NCDCR’s Divisions of Archives and Records, Historical Resources, State Historic Sites and State History Museums preserve, document and interpret North Carolina’s rich cultural heritage to offer experiences of learning and reflection. NCDCR’s State Library of North Carolina is the principal library of state government and builds the capacity of all libraries in our state to develop and to offer access to educational resources through traditional and online collections including genealogy and resources for people who are blind and have physical disabilities.

NCDCR annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council and the State Archives. NCDCR champions our state’s creative industry that accounts for more than 300,000 jobs and generates nearly $18.5 billion in revenues. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit www.ncdcr.gov





A Little Reminder….

….that Historic Bath Site will be featured on WNCT (9 On Your Side) this evening beginning at 5pm! Jeff Varner came and visited Bath on Tuesday for a couple of hours and toured through our 2 historic homes, their kitchens, St. Thomas Episcopal Church and wandered the streets of Bath. We can’t wait to see how the segment appears on tv tonight, and we’re so thankful to Jeff and WNCT for thinking of us! Keep an eye out this evening!

Flossie’s Fridays: Week 6!



Flossie’s Fridays: Week 6

Today, Flossie flitted over to the 1751 Palmer-Marsh House, but she never made it inside the building.  She was too excited to see the huge double chimney and she wanted to have her picture taken with it. This very large architectural feature of the Colonial structure made her laugh……she said the chimney looked like an upside down pair of pants!  Then she learned that she was actually seeing two chimneys built close enough together that the builder did something really smart – he made little closets between the two fireplaces!  That’s why you see a window on the 1st and 2nd floors of the house in between the chimneys.  Imagine how toasty it would feel in those spaces between two fireplaces in the cold wintertime.  Maybe they used those little spaces for warming rooms!  On the first floor, the little room is connected to the dining room and upstairs it is connected to a chamber (what you would call a bedroom).  What do you think some of the ways they might have used these warming spaces would be?  Flossie also learned a little about bricklaying patterns.  She will teach you a little about that next week!