In 2010, the town of New Bern will celebrate it’s Birthday. The Town, founded in 1710, will be 300 years old. It is second only to Bath, as the oldest town in North Carolina.
Steeped in history, it is one of the most interesting places to visit, of anyplace I know. One of the founders, John Lawson, a naturalist, wrote a book about the early plant, and animal life in North Carolina. He had planned to also write about the native tribes here as well. That turned out to be his undoing, as the Tuscarora Indians, had him tortured; meanwhile sparing Christoph von Graffenried from Bern Switzerland, as they thought this wealthy gentleman might be the governor.
I first paid a visit to New Bern in the early 1980s, stopping here to visit Tryon Palace, the colonial home and capital of North Carolina. Gov Tryon, built this fine home on the backs of the people of North Carolina. Stamp Act Taxes, on everything the early farmers produced, collected the money to build the fine home for Tryon.
It was this very action that caused the settlers of North Carolina to revolt, and forcing Gov Tryon’s hand at the Battle of Alamance County, by the Regulators, as they became to be known. Tryon quickly put down that rebellion, and hanged the ringleaders; however those seeds sown the bitterness that later would blossom into the Revolutionary War.
History alone, is not the reason why I recommend that you visit the town,(though that is reason enough, in my opinion)… I recommend you visit New Bern, and I am sure that you will fall in love with the town as I have.
I recently returned to New Bern, in early September, and what I found was a progressive town, full of transplants, that has somehow managed to keep from being another in-your-face tourist town. There is much to do, and the townsfolk really go out of their way to not only show you a good time, but they genuinely are glad that you came to visit.
So in 2010, (or now if you would like) go to New Bern, and tell them that Gary sent you. You will come away with the same feeling as I have about New Bern.