The Great Fire of 1922 Lecture
Lecture presented by Carol Becton
The New Bern Historical Society presents this moving lecture by Carol Becton. Learn about the impact of the Great Fire, specifically on the African American community and how the city rebuilt.
In 1922, the face of New Bern was forever changed. Over three thousand people were displaced in a fire that raged through the African American community, decimating over a thousand structures.
The fire started at the Rowland Lumber Company on the banks of the Neuse River; within minutes, the largest lumber mill in the state of North Carolina was consumed. A second fire sparked a few hours later, converging with the first fire, sealing the fate of any wooden clapboard and shingle-roofed homes. Click HERE to read more about this tragic event and its impact on New Bern.
Free of charge, advance reservations are required.
This event is one of a series commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Great Fire.
From December 1-4, New Bern community partners will be commemorating
the Great Fire of 1922 with a series of events.
Schedule of Events
All events free but those with * require advance registration.
Thursday, December 1:
- 7pm – Great Fire Commemoration Vigil (outdoors). Location is on the corner of Broad and Rountree. Dress for weather and bring a flashlight.
Friday, December 2:
- 9am to noon – Fire of ’22 Exhibit at New Bern Firemen’s Museum open for hourly tours.* Free but reservation required; click here for reservations.
- 2pm – Great Fire presentation by Carol Becton at St. Peter’s AME Zion Church.
Saturday, December 3:
- Noon to 3pm – Fire of ’22 Exhibit at New Bern Firemen’s Museum open for hourly tours.* Free, but reservation required. Click here for reservations.
- 7pm – Great Fire presentation by Carol Becton at Cullman Performance Hall, NC History Center.* Reservations required. Click here or call 252.638.8558 to reserve your seat.
Sunday, December 4:
- 10am – Commemorative Service at St. Peter’s AME Zion Church, led by Bishop Kenneth Monroe
- 5pm – Closing Candlelight Vesper Service at St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church
Daily through January 2023 – Tryon Palace exhibit, The Great Fire of New Bern: Images on its 100th Anniversary, in the Cannon Gallery at the North Carolina History Center. Free and open to the public.
*Requires advance reservation
Thank you to these Community Partners
African American Heritage and Culture Center
City of New Bern
Craven County Tourism Development Authority
Earl of Craven Questers
New Bern Fireman’s Museum
New Bern Historical Society
St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church
St. Peter’s AME Zion Church
Swiss Bear, Inc.
A.M.E.Z New Bern District
North Carolina Conference Eastern NC Episcopal District