Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex

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801 Arsenal Avenue, Fayetteville, NC, USA

Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex Fayetteville Reviews

Zagnut66 Zagnut66
112 reviews
Museum of the Cape Fear Mar 05, 2015
The Museum of the Cape Fear is a complex of three adjoining sites in Fayetteville. The small museum building follows the history of the region with exhibits on the Native Americans who lived along the Cape Fear River, the colonial period and early 19th century on the first floor and the Civil War and post-war eras covered on the second floor. There are also exhibits on the Fayetteville Arsenal, a major supplier of rifles and bullets for the Confederacy after the arsenal at Harper’s Ferry in Virginia (now West Virginia) fell into Union hands.

It takes about 30 - 45 minutes to see everything. Admission is free and photographs are allowed though no flash photography. The bathrooms are clean if you need a break. Next door is the Poe House (no relation to Edgar Allen), a beautiful Victorian home built in 1897 now run by the museum. Free tours are given on the hour on weekends and at 11, 1 and 3 o’clock on weekdays. I arrived too late and missed the last tour of the day, so can’t comment on the interior of the house though it looks impressive from the outside.

A bridge from the museum parking lot takes you over a highway built in the 1980s to Arsenal Park, the site of the old arsenal that was destroyed by the Federal army under General Sherman in March 1865 just a month before the fall of the Confederacy. The foundations of the various buildings remain intact with historical markers explaining the layout. An odd metallic structure at one end represents a tower that was once part of the arsenal. The only explosives still around are the bombs left by neighborhood dogs on the ground, one of which I messily stepped on. Be careful!

You can easily explore all three sites within two hours, though the museum and Poe House are closed on Mondays. Worth a visit if you are a history nerd like myself.
Museum of the Cape Fear
Waterwheel exhibit
North Carolina in the War Between …
11 / 11 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
vances says:
It is amazing how far the Cape Fear River Basin stretches...of course I live where it dumps into the Atlantic, but we even saw signs announcing we were in the Basin driving past Raleigh last weekend.
Posted on: Mar 26, 2015
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photo by: Zagnut66