Lenoir County offers a front row pass to several interesting cultural attractions, including museums, plays, galleries and historic sites.
Lenoir Community College
The fine arts are well represented at Lenoir Community College, with LCC offering associate degrees in three fine arts disciplines: drama, music, and music education. Also on the LCC campus is Heritage Place, which provides genealogy information from the late 1700s to 1930 focusing on Lenoir, Greene and Jones counties. Heritage Place is in an annex of the Learning Resources Center at LCC.
Caswell No. 1 Fire Station Museum
This actual fire station was constructed in 1895 and its main attraction is a 1922 LaFrance Pumper truck, plus there is a collection of old-time helmets, nozzles, ladders and fire extinguishers. Admission to Caswell No. 1 is free and the museum is open Saturdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Civil War Sites
Harriet's Chapel was a former church that served as a Civil War field hospital following the 1862 First Battle of Kinston. The church was eventually destroyed, but today the New Beaverdam Primitive Church, similar in design to Harriet's Chapel, is on the same site on U.S. 258 South and open to visitors. A historical marker on the grounds describes a Starr's Battery bloody encounter there during the First Battle of Kinston.
Also in Kinston is the Gov. Caswell Memorial that commemorates the life of Richard Caswell, the first governor of the independent state of North Carolina. In addition, there is a First Battle of Kinston Civil War Battlefield Park as well as a CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center, which pays tribute to the gunboat CSS Neuse that the Confederate navy sailed in battle.
Community Council for the Arts
This nonprofit organization remains dedicated to providing Lenoir County residents with opportunities to not only enjoy but create works of art. The council's home, the Arts Center, is nestled in historic downtown Kinston and features a collection of galleries exhibiting local artists. The council provides a series of workshops for children and adults, which include music lessons, craft making, furniture painting, watercolor and oil painting. Annual shows and events such as ArtsFest, Holiday Shopping Extravaganza and the Motorcycle Show are organized by the Council for the Arts.
Read more about other Kinston attractions.