Tryon Palace Commission

The Tryon Palace Commission is a state commission whose members are appointed by the Governor to manage the Latham Trust for Tryon Palace and to function as a board of trustees in the development of policies regarding collections management, public programs, and preservation.

The Tryon Palace Commission is comprised of up to 25 appointed members from across North Carolina, plus five ex-officio, voting members that include the Secretary of the North Carolina Dept. of Cultural Resources, the Attorney General of the State of North Carolina, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences of East Carolina University, the Mayor of New Bern, and the Chairman of the Craven County Board of Commissioners.

History of the Commission

During the 1920s, New Bern saw a renewed interest in its colonial heritage and the rebuilding Tryon’s Palace. For the next 20 years, these efforts were led by five women known as the Dreamers: Gertrude Sprague Carraway, Minette Chapman Duffy, May Gordon Latham Kellenberger, Maude Moore Latham, and Kate B. Reynolds.

In 1939, Gertrude S. Carraway discovered a set of Palace architect John Hawks’ drawings at the New York Historical Society. With drawings by the original architect in hand, Maude Moore Latham established a trust for the restoration of Tryon Palace in 1944, contingent on the state purchasing the original property. In 1945, the Tryon Palace Commission was formed by the state of North Carolina to oversee the purchase of land and reconstruction of Tryon Palace. Maude Moore Latham served as chairman of the Commission until her passing in 1951 when she was succeed by her daughter May Gordon Latham Kellenberger. May Kellenberger served as chairman of the Commission through the opening of the Palace in April 1959.  

Commission Members

Katherine Haroldson

James Norment

Financial Officer and Treasurer
James Congleton

Assistant Financial Officer and Treasurer
James Bender

Steve Graves

Benny Andres, Jr. 
John Bircher
Kenneth Chance
Maria Cho
Darren Clark
Fern Cotton
David Erdman 
Catherine Everett 
Susan Fetzer
Bernard George
Nelson McDaniel
Elizabeth Saylors
Jon Segal
Ellen Sheridan
Linda Simmons-Henry
Garry Slade 
Arwin Smallwood
Kelly Whitley
Stephen Zaytoun

Ex Officio Members

Jan Parson, Designee for Attorney General Stein

Dr. Allison Danell, Dean, Harriot College of Arts and Sciences

Secretary D. Reid Wilson, NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

Commissioner Jason Jones, Chairman of the Craven County Board of Commissioners

Mayor Jeffrey T. Odham

Members Emeriti

Julia Jones Daniels
Ella Ann Holding
Anne Latham Johnson
Rev. Monsignor Gerald Lewis
Bob Mattocks
Karen Rand
Phil Swink
Alice Graham Underhill
Barbara Valentine
John A. J. Ward