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 Board Members

Mr. Steven L. Bengel
Mr. John C Bircher, III
Ms. Leigh Bleecker
Mr. William C. Cannon, Jr.,Chairman
Mr. Chris Carroll
Dr. J. Kenneth Chance
Mr. Darren B. Clark
Dr. James B. Congleton, Assistant Financial Officer and Treasurer
Mr. Derrick S. Donald
Mr. Bernard George
Mr. Steve Graves
Mrs. Christine J. Greene
Mrs. Katherine Haroldson, Financial Officer and Treasurer
Mrs. Jill Hendrickson
Ms. Olivia Holding
Mr. Andy Lancaster
Mr. Pender McElroy
Mr. Scott McKaig
Mr. James Norment
Ms. Jillian Totman
Mr. John A. J. Ward, Vice-Chairman
Ms. Cecilia Wasserman
Mrs. Kelly Whitley
Mr. Stephen Zaytoun

Ex Officio Members

Designee for Attorney General Stein - Suzanne Bizzell
Dr. William M. Downs
Secretary Susi H. Hamilton
Commissioner Tom Mark
Mayor Dana E. Outlaw

Members Emeriti

Mr. Hugh Cullman
Mrs. Julia Jones Daniels
Mrs. Elinor Hawkins
Mrs. Ella Ann Holding
Mrs. Betty Debnam Hunt
Mr. George Ives, Jr.
Mrs. Anne Latham Johnson
Rev. Monsignor Gerald L. Lewis
Mr. Bob Mattocks
Mrs. Karen Rand
Mr. Phil Swink
Mrs. Alice Graham Underhill
Mrs. Barbara Valentine
Mr. Joseph Zaytoun