DURHAM, N.C. – An additional 91 acres is now part of the Historic Stagville State Historic Site in Durham, which makes available more natural wooded area for camping, hiking and cultural exploration in this urbanizing region. Through the efforts of the Triangle Land Conservancy and a successful grant application to the N.C. Natural Heritage Trust Fund, the site has more than doubled in size.
To celebrate acquisition of additional open space amid 21st-century development, N.C. Department of Cultural Resources Secretary Linda Carlisle and representatives of the Triangle Land Conservancy and the N.C. Heritage Natural Heritage Trust held a dedication at the site Tuesday, March 30. The newly acquired land adjoins the Horton Preserve, owned by the Triangle Land Conservancy.
The Stagville plantation house is on the National Register of Historic Places. Built by Richard Bennehan in 1799, at one time it was centerpiece of a 30,000-acre, highly productive and profitable plantation with 900 enslaved workers. Now part of the N. C. Division of State Historic Sites (www.nchistoricsites.org) in the Department of Cultural Resources (www.ncculture.com), Stagville has other structures that include a great barn (the largest known agricultural building created by African American craftsmen in the state), an overseer’s house and other historically significant structures.
In the 18th century, the largely undeveloped region was on the Old Indian Trading Path, the main inter-colony route of the backcountry. It included the Eno, Neuse and Flat rivers, and broad low valleys, which made it an appealing prospect for farmland to early settlers. By the time of the arrival of the settlers in the 1700s, even remnants of Indian tribes (Eno, Adshusher, Shocco, and Occaneechee) no longer frequented the area. Significant cultural artifacts may be contained on this site.
For additional information, call (919) 620-0120 or (919) 807-7389. Historic Stagville in the Division of State Historic Sites is part of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities, and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social, cultural and economic future. Information about Cultural Resources is available 24/7 at www.ncculture.com.
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