Thursday, May 22, 2008

Museum of the Albemarle’s New “Our Story” Exhibit Offers One-Stop History Lesson

Elizabeth Evans
Public Relations Consultant
Cahoon & Cross Marketing Consultants
Phone: (757) 625-7068 direct line

Museum of the Albemarle’s New “Our Story” Exhibit Offers One-Stop History Lesson
-- More than 750 artifacts tell the story of northeastern North Carolina’s Albemarle region --

(Elizabeth City, N.C., May 21, 2008) – Travelers to northeastern North Carolina now have a starting point for exploring the region’s abundance of historic sites and waterfront settings. The Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City has just opened “Our Story,” a thoughtful and handsome exhibit that weaves together the history of 13 counties surrounding the Albemarle Sound.

A permanent feature of the museum’s second floor, the 6,200 square-foot exhibit uses illustrated murals, muted lighting, photography and more than 750 artifacts to depict the Albemarle region’s maritime, canal, railroad, automobile and tourism eras.

“‘Our Story’ is the history of the region. It is a story of how northeastern North Carolina communities adapted to the challenges and opportunities of its unusual home,” said Don Pendergraft, the museum’s exhibit design chief.

Throughout the gallery, dark blue carpeting represents the water, and cork flooring the land – symbolic of residents’ ever-changing relationship with the rivers, sound and sea. As visitors make their way through the eras, eye-catching displays reveal such gems as a pine dugout canoe; the cannon recovered from the ship purported to be Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge; the smokestack from the C.S.S. Albemarle; a miniature replica of the James Adams Floating Theatre, the inspiration for author Edna Ferber’s popular novel, “Show Boat”; a horse-drawn “steam pumper” fire engine; and a 1954 Moth Boat, a small sail boat that was developed in Elizabeth City.

Visitors can walk into the Jackson House, a 1755 farmhouse that spanned both the Colonial and Federal time periods. The farmhouse and nearby ca. 1840 smokehouse are original structures from the area. The exhibit also features a 1950 restaurant counter and stools from the Comstock Confectionary, once a popular local soda shop.

Displays of period clothing and ample use of photographs further depict life in the respective time periods. Attached to many of the displays are photograph “flipbooks,” allowing visitors an opportunity to learn more about the large images they see.

“Our Story” was made possible through the Museum of the Albemarle’s capital campaign that raised more than $1.5 million in private funds.

The Museum of the Albemarle ( is located at 501 South Water Street in Elizabeth City, N.C. The northeastern regional branch of the North Carolina Museum of History, the museum interprets the history of 13 counties in northeastern North Carolina, considered by many to be the birthplace of English America. Admission is free. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 2 to 5 p.m. For information, call (252) 335-1453.

Special Elizabeth City Getaway Packages

In conjunction with the opening of the Museum of the Albemarle’s “Our Story” exhibit, the Elizabeth City Area Convention & Visitor’s Bureau is offering a “One If By Land, Two If By Sea” accommodations package at participating inns, B&Bs and hotels. Rates, based on a two-night stay for two guests, start at $180, plus tax. Guests can add on a personalized historic walking tour and British tea, offered by De’Tours of Elizabeth City, and a Carolina Carriages’ horse-draw carriage tour of the Elizabeth City waterfront. Call the Elizabeth City Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1-866-ECity-4U (1-866-324-8948) or (252) 335-5330 or go to

Elizabeth City is located in northeastern North Carolina on the Pasquotank River, halfway between Norfolk, Va., and the Outer Banks. Elizabeth City has six National Register Historic Districts and is home to the Museum of the Albemarle, Arts of the Albemarle, Elizabeth City State University Planetarium and Port Discover Hands-on Science Center. Nature-based travelers are drawn to the area’s proximity to the Dismal Swamp and the abundance of outdoor recreational offerings.

To receive a photo selection of the “Our Story” exhibit, contact Elizabeth Evans at (757) 625-7068 or

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