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Cape Fear Museum Of History And Science

History Of Cape Fear Museum

Go With the Flow….Cape Fear Museum of Science & History – Wilmington, NC

The historical Cape Fear Museum opened in March 1898. Its precious artifacts displayed within the Wilmington Light Infantrys building. Sometime later it was moved to the County courthouse annex.

In 1960 it was moved again, this time to the Police Station building. And, in 1970, it was moved yet again to where its currently located. And in those times, the building was the National Armory building.

Local residents played a pivotal role in the formation of the Cape Fear Museum. They had supported a bond issue for museum improvements in the late 1980s. The Museum opened with new exhibits in 1992.

The purpose of the museums foundation was to preserve the Confederate objects of the Civil War in 1865. The United Daughters of the Confederacy was in charge of the Museum then. They continue to collect various objects related to the confederate memories.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy was in charge of the Museum for its first two decades. Then the Wilmington Light Infantry took charge during the First World War. Due to the passing of time, many other objects besides Confederate objects were collected.

From 1930 to the early 1960s, North Carolina Sorosis was in charge of the Museum. The collected objects of the Cape Fear Museum represent regional, national, and international art, history, and science artifacts after 1930.

The city of Wilmington and New Hanover County jointly administered the Museum until 1977.

Museum Collection Of Cape Fear Museum

The collection of the Cape Fear Museum started in 1898 and is continuing till now. It provides a view of the historical past of Cape Fear and its surrounding areas.

The museum collection represents a wide range of American history. For instance, it had a collection of Native American artifacts from the Archaic period.

The items represent mostly the span from the 17th to 21st century USA. Great efforts have been made. Most of the collection puts emphasis on the 20th century.

Documents, photographs, and three-dimensional artifacts like clothing, and furniture are among the collected items.

The museum also had replications of Civil War-era Wilmington. The museum had a part specially reserved for the history of the early days of the civil war when the confederate union had successfully blocked the port.

Native American replicas of tools can be found there. Wildlife and environmental displays are also part of the collection of the museum.

Cape Fear Museums Photo Collection Is Now Available Online

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. – Cape Fear Museum of History and Sciences photographic collection is now available online to anybody for viewing.

The museum worked with Rediscovery Software to create a database of the museums photo collection of over 15,000 images. After 20 months of work, the photos also feature tags and ways to search them via various filters.

Photographs shed light on the history, science and cultures of the Lower Cape Fear and provide a glimpse of how people lived and how Wilmington has changed over time, curator Heather Yenco said in a news release.

The database will grow as more photos are added to the museums collection. You can access the collection on Cape Fear Museum of History and Sciences website.

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The History Of The Name Cape Fear

The name Cape Fear had come from the 1585 expedition of Sir Richard Grenville. Sir Richard Grenville’s ship was sailing to Roanoke Island. While sailing on Roanoke Island, his ship was facing extreme difficulty. Some of the crew became very afraid and thought that the ship could be destroyed. This fear of the ship’s crew had given rise to the name “Cape Fear.”

The Cape Fear River had sharks of different species. The residents of Cape Fear love their sharks as long as these sharks dont harm them. One can swim in the Cape Fear River. But it is advised that the beginner swimmer practice in the river along with the help of an expert.

Besides visiting the Cape Fear Museum, you can also visit other magnificent places in Wilmington. You can visit the historical Bellamy Mansion. This mansion was built in 1861 and, like the Cape Fear Museum, it also gives a touch to the history of 19th Century North Carolina.

For the latest news release about Cape Fear Museum, visit their website.

Visiting The Cape Fear Museum

Cape Fear Museum of History &  Science ⢠Visit Wilmington NC

Visiting Cape Fear Museum is a great experience. It is a great blend of the local history, science, artwork, and culture of Wilmington and the surrounding areas.

The museum also had lots of interactive exhibits and educational displays for the children. Children can build their own space station or lunar rover in the Museum. Some additional information to find out about the Museum while visiting,

  • For children aged between 6-17, their entry fee is only $5.
  • Children aged 5 and under dont have to give any entry fees.
  • The Museum remains open Monday to Saturday from 9 AM to 5 AM. However, on Sunday it remains open from 1 PM to 5 PM.

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Fire Exhibition Opens At The Cape Fear Museum Of History And Science

WILMINGTON, N.C. – The newest exhibition at the Cape Fear Museum of History and Science, Fire!, showcases the history and science of fire. The exhibit opened on May 20 and will remain on view until November 26, 2023.

The Cape Fear Museum team has spent two plus years researching and curating content, designing interactive components and constructing the exhibition. The final experience showcases the multi-faceted talents of our entire team, and we are proud to share it with the community, said museum director Wayne LaBar in a release.

The exhibition focuses on three main topics: the science of fire, firefighting practices throughout history and fire safety. Peppered throughout the exhibit are interactive experiences such as a thermal imaging camera demonstration and a comparison of various water delivery methods. Children can also take part in an interactive maze and make a fire escape plan for a dollhouse.

Guests can also celebrate the exhibitions opening at a reception on Thursday, May 26 from 4 to 6 p.m. The reception is sponsored by the NC Association of Fire Chiefs and the Eastern NC Firefighters Association.

Per a museum release:

About: Cape Fear Museum Of History And Science

Cape Fear Museum of History and Science is a museum located at 814 Market Street in downtown Wilmington in southeastern North Carolina. Founded in 1898, it is the oldest history museum in the state.

  • Cape Fear Museum of History and Science is a museum located at 814 Market Street in downtown Wilmington in southeastern North Carolina. Founded in 1898, it is the oldest history museum in the state.
  • Cape Fear Museum of History and Science
  • Cape Fear Museum of History and Science is a museum located at 814 Market Street in downtown Wilmington in southeastern North Carolina. Founded in 1898, it is the oldest history museum in the state.
  • Cape Fear Museum of History and Science
  • Cape Fear Museum of History and Science

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An Unusually Interesting Museum #museummondays

This image of George Washington was donated to the city in the 1920s. It later became a part of the Museum collection.

The New Hanover County Museum and the Courthouse Annexwere

Sorosis float from About 1915. The group organized in the 1890s.
Antebellum nutmeg grater donated to Museum in 1930s
Sketch of Wilmington, dated 1837, given to Museum in 1936

Cape Fear Museum Of History And Science Presents Museum After Dark: Fire & Water Evening Event


NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC Cape Fear Museum of History and Science presents Museum After Dark: Fire & Water on Thursday, June 9th, 2022 from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

This evening event allows adult guests to channel their inner pyromaniac or cool down with their favorite water themed challenge.

Some of the activities for the evening include:

  • Take a personality quiz to determine if you are fire or water
  • Make smores with Carolina Beach firefighters
  • Construct your own boat and race in a regatta
  • Watch a fire ball demonstration
  • Participate in a water gun target shooting challenge
  • Experiment with pyrography using wood burning tools
  • Enjoy a frozen wine or juice slushie made with liquid nitrogen
  • Test your pitching skills to soak a Wilmington firefighter in the dunk tank
  • Have fun with fire & water props at the selfie station
  • And more

During the event, guests are also invited to explore our newest in-house curated exhibition, FIRE! and out Smithsonian traveling exhibition, H2O Today.

Who doesnt love playing with fire, stated education manager Amy Thornton, this event will be a hot evening for our adult visitors to experiment, challenge their friends and have fun with fire and water.

Advance tickets are now available for Museum After Dark, $10 for members and $12 for non-members.

Tickets may be purchased at the Museum admission desk or online .

Tickets may also be purchased at the door on Thursday, June 9th for $15.

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Cape Fear Museum Of History And Science

  • “Very nice museum, interactive and enjoyed very much””Interactive exhibits.”
  • Wes BechtelAugust 9, 2014Been here 10+ timesPlenty of hands-on exhibits for the kids. Free for Wilmington residents on the first Sunday of every month.
  • Doug HoltAugust 5, 2013Very nice museum. Interactiveexhibits. Very enjoyable.
  • August 7, 2013Very nice museum, interactive and enjoyed very much
  • Lynn CookMarch 20, 2014Awesome!! Would love to go again!!

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Getting Gaston’s Hat and Sword

Colonel Gaston Meares, about 1861

Wilmington Morning Star … he was standing with his hat in his hand, & his sword under his arm, & was walking back & forth in a little prominence, from when his men had begged him to come down. & he had once done so, & taken a seat, but feeling anxious went up again. when turning his head a little back, the ball struck his him just above the left eye I think, & fractured the skull, he was immediately removed by two men & carefully attended to, no one heard him say any thing…”

Gaston Meares’ hatThis gavel was also returned in 2010. It was made out of flooring from the Executive Mansion in Richmond, Virginia.

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Cape Fear Museum Of History And Science To Take Part In Museum Day

WILMINGTON, N.C. – If youre looking for a fun, free attraction for the weekend, look no farther Cape Fear Museum of History and Science will offer free admission on Sept. 18.

The event is part of Smithsonian magazines 17th annual Museum Day, which celebrates boundless curiosity for the public, and especially for school-aged children and those in underrepresented groups.

The theme of this years event, Experience America, focuses on the revival of Americas diverse cultural experiences. And with free admission, anyone can participate.

Museum Day is a great way for us to reach out to our community, encourage people to explore the Museum and engage with visitors that might not normally visit, says Museum Director Wayne LaBar.

Visitors to the museum can expect to see numerous exhibits, including:

  • Cape Fear Stories, which covers the regions history, culture, and science
  • Space Place: an interactive, STEM learning center
  • Michael Jordan Discovery Gallery: which covers the ecosystems of the Cape Fear region
  • H20 Today: an exhibit about the importance of water
  • Sun, Earth, Universe: an experience about Earth and space science for the family

Museum Day also signifies the reopening of museums after being closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. While entrance to the museum will be free of charge, safety precautions will still be implemented for guest welfare and comfort.

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Cape Fear Museum Of History And Science Wants To Document Covid

Cape Fear Museum of History &  Science ⢠Visit Wilmington NC

WILMINGTON, N.C. – The Cape Fear Museum of History and Science is seeking objects, photographs and documents that show the numerous aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it is affecting the lives of people in the Lower Cape Fear region.

The current coronavirus pandemic is an important event in history and residents are encouraged to save items that tell the COVID-19 story and would be a good contribution to the museums collection,” museum officials said in a news release. “Cape Fear Museum will preserve artifacts so that future generations will be able to learn about what is happening today.

Museum officials say donated items may represent the following:

  • Life during stay-at-home orders, including working and schooling from home
  • Closures of businesses, schools, restaurants and institutions
  • Frontline workers, including medical personnel, grocery store employees and delivery drivers
  • Social distancing and CDC guidelines for being in public
  • Any other aspects of life during the pandemic

All donated items must have a connection to the Lower Cape Fear, which is defined as a 50-mile radius around Wilmington.

Any item donated for possible inclusion in the collection must include the following information:

  • What is the item?
  • Who used or made the item?
  • Where was the item used or made?
  • How does this item relate to the pandemic?
  • Is there a photograph of the item being used or made?

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National Council On Public History

Cape Fear Museum of History and Science

North Carolina

Salary or Range Listed

Position Information

Cape Fear Museum of History and Science is seeking a Museum Educator to provide professional informal education services to the public through school, outreach, and public programming, serving children, adults, and families. This person will support general museum operations with a customer-focused approach to public service. They will coordinate with community partners to best serve New Hanover County citizens.

As an informal educator:

As a member of the museum staff:

  • Always demonstrates excellent internal and external customer service.
  • Develops strong relationships with community partners.
  • Creates connections with peer institutions and museum professionals to strengthen core knowledge and skills.
  • Represents Cape Fear Museum at public events.
  • Supports the work of other museum units, including front desk responsibilities, opening and closing the museum, participating in exhibit planning, and other duties.
  • Supports promotional efforts the highlight current museum work and goals.
  • Contributes to grant applications, record-keeping, and reporting as required.
  • Demonstrates superior stewardship of museum and county resources through the care and maintenance of the museum van, portable planetarium, digital globe, computers/laptops/tablets, teaching objects and kits, program materials, etc. assuring their proper availability, storage, and safety.

Employment Type:Full-time, non-exempt

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