Special Projects

The Seth Thomas Clock Chimes Again

Thursday, September 3, 2020 – 2:35pmIn a collaborative effort with the Craven Community College, the Seth Thomas Clock, located in the North Carolina History Center, is repaired. 

Rob Jones–Tryon Palace, Jeff Brown & Dean Ricky Meadows–Craven Community College
  Erected in 1911, the Seth Thomas Clock was originally located in the New Bern City Hall tower. The clock was decommissioned in 1999 due to ongoing mechanical problems. Volunteers began restoring it in 2007, and it was placed in its permanent home of the North Carolina History Center three years later in 2010.  

Stages of the replicated hammer that Craven Community College students created Its presence above the History Center’s lobby doors has captured the attention of thousands of visitors especially upon the hour when it chimes out the time loudly throughout the building.  But in October 2019, the clock hammer broke, temporarily decommissioning it once again. Craven Community College students in the CAD program stepped in, replicating the piece. It was installed September 1, 2020, and fills the Mattocks Hall with its bell once again.  The large 2,800 pound clock can be seen above the entry to the North Carolina History Center. Visitors can see it while visiting the Tryon Palace Museum Store, located on 529 S. Front Street.  
The bell chimes once again!

Tryon Palace Reopens Popular Barbour Boats Exhibit

Thursday, May 30, 2019 – 2:25pm

NEW BERN, N.C. – May 30, 2019
Tryon Palace is pleased to announce the reopening of the Tryon Palace Barbour Boats Exhibit in the North Carolina History Center’s Duffy Exhibition Gallery, June 8. The reinstalled exhibit will feature a new collection piece, the racing hull Cap’t Hub, on loan from the North Carolina Maritime Museum, and a restored 1949 Barbour Utility, on loan from Joe Peacos. The exhibit will remain on display through January 12, 2020.
The exhibit, first installed in June 2018, was closed after the gallery sustained damage from Hurricane Florence, was open to the public again in January through March, when it was removed to host the annual Craven County Schools Art Exhibit from March through May.
Follow in the wake of Barbour Boats – one of New Bern’s most notable companies – from its creation in the 1930s to its closure in 1997, and beyond. Inside the Duffy Exhibition Gallery, visitors will learn about the founding, commercial and military past, and legacy of the Barbour Boats industry. The boat builder has a special connection with New Bern and Tryon Palace, as it used to operate on the Trent River, right where the North Carolina History Center now stands. The company was founded by Herbert Barbour in 1932, and exclusively turned out wooden boats until the approach of World War II, when Barbour began building naval craft including mine sweepers. Explore the impact the Barbour and Rivenbark families had on New Bern, North Carolina’s nautical presence, and military defense at NCHC’s exhibit.
“We had such a positive response to the first few weeks of the exhibit before Hurricane Florence, from locals who owned Barbours to former employees of the yard,” said Lindy Cummings, Research Historian, Tryon Palace. “Barbour holds a special place in people’s hearts – I’ve had conversations with lifelong residents of New Bern who recall going down to Reggie’s Outboard Service to purchase sporting goods, or summers spent on the family Barbour boat. The boats, especially, are touchstones for childhood memories.”
The Barbour Boat Exhibit will be on exhibit in the North Carolina History Center through January 2020. The Duffy Exhibition Gallery is open free to the public, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The North Carolina History Center is closed Mondays.

Tryon Palace Media Contact

Nancy Figiel