See the early home, factories, and farm where Washington Duke first grew and processed tobacco. Duke’s sons later founded The American Tobacco Company, the largest tobacco company in the world. The tour includes the Duke family’s restored home, an early factory, a curing barn, and a packhouse. The Tobacco Museum exhibits traces tobacco history from Native American times to the present.
Region: Piedmont Plateau
The Tuscarora, one of the most prominent tribes of eastern North Carolina at the time of European settlement, were a well-developed tribe that spoke a derivative of the Iroquoian language. The tribe established communities on the Roanoke, Tar, and Neuse Rivers, growing crops such as corn, picked berries and nuts. They also hunted big game such as deer and bears. Despite the tribe’s size and numerous warriors, the Tuscarora War (1711-1713) led to the migration of the tribe to New York and the near vanishing of the tribe from North Carolina.
The first popularly elected Senator of North Carolina, Lee S. Overman served in the U.S. Senate for almost thirty years. Overman, born in Salisbury, graduated from Trinity College in 1874, and later served as secretary to both Governor Vance and Jarvis. Elected to the Senate in 1903, Overman remained an ardent Democrat, supporting President Wilson during the height of World War I and supporting the creation of the Department of Labor.
Senator from 1858 until 1861, Thomas Lanier Clingman supported state rights, slavery, and secession during his time as North Carolina public servant. Clingman attended UNC-Chapel Hill and he became a lawyer in the 1830s. After Senator Asa Biggs resigned from the U.S. Senate, Clingman was appointed to take his position. Although an ardent supporter of secession, Senator Clingman was the last southerner to leave Washington, D.C.
On October 8, 1826, Matt Whitaker Ransom was born in Warren County. After graduating from the University of North Carolina and studying law, Ransom started to practice law in his hometown. Ransom served as a general during the Civil War, after which he served in the Senate for over twenty years, becoming the president pro tempore in the 53rd Congress.
Catawba College was founded by the German Reformed Church in 1851, and it is the sixth oldest college in North Carolina. Established to train ministers, Catawba now offers co-educational undergraduate and master degrees. Annual enrollment is over 1,300 students, and Catawba has several joint study programs with the Appalachian State, Duke, and Wake Forest Universities.
Saint Augustine’s College, founded in 1867, was formed due to the need for African American teachers. Earning four-year college status in 1928, Saint Augustine’s College was the first African American college to host radio and television programs. Today, nearly 1,500 students attend the college in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Located in Wake County near the State Capitol building, Peace College was originally founded in 1857. However, the Civil War prevented the first students from studying at the institution until 1872. An all-female college, Peace College continues its Presbyterian tradition. Enrollment is around 700 students each year, offering 10 majors to its students.
Founded in 1941, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base was named in honor of Lt. Seymour Johnson. During WWII, the base served as a important training center for bomber pilots, but the camp was closed after the war. Seymour Johnson was reopened in 1956 due to the work of local political leaders, and it has since remained home to the Fourth Tactical Fighter Wing.
A little known Confederate fort that was built in anticipation of Union General George Stoneman’s Raid into Piedmont North Carolina and to protect the North Carolina Railroad Bridge, Fort York is now located adjacent to I-85 in Davidson County and across the Yadkin River from Rowan County.