National Register Listings in
Craven County, North Carolina

North Carolina has a rich African-American history, including the establishment of the first free black community in the United States, known as the Roanoke Island Freedmen's Colony, during the Civil War.
Craven County, located in eastern North Carolina, has a rich and diverse history that begins with its settlement in the early 18th century. The county's namesake is William, Earl of Craven, one of the original eight Lords Proprietors of the Carolina colony. European settlers began arriving in the area in the 1700s, primarily of English, German, and French descent, establishing plantations and trading posts along the Neuse and Trent River.

During the American Revolution, Craven County played a significant role as a center for political and military activity. New Bern, the county seat and the second oldest town in North Carolina, served as the state's capital from 1777 to 1789. It was here that the state's first printing press was established, and the first state constitution was ratified. The Battle of New Bern, fought in 1862 during the Civil War, marked a turning point in the Union's control of eastern North Carolina.

In the years following the Civil War, Craven County experienced significant growth and development. The expansion of railroads and the introduction of tobacco and lumber industries brought economic prosperity to the county. However, like much of the South, Craven County faced the challenges of racial segregation and the struggle for civil rights during the Jim Crow era.

Today, Craven County is known for its vibrant cultural heritage and natural beauty. The county is home to Tryon Palace, a restored historic site that served as the state's first permanent capitol. The Croatan National Forest encompasses a large portion of the county, offering opportunities for outdoor recreation. With a diverse population and a strong sense of community, Craven County continues to thrive as a historic and dynamic part of North Carolina.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Craven County, North Carolina.

  • 1712: Craven County is established as one of the original precincts of the Province of Carolina.
  • 1739: The county seat of New Bern is established as the capital of the Province of North Carolina.
  • 1765: A major fire destroys much of New Bern, including the courthouse and many public buildings.
  • 1774-1775: A provincial congress meets in New Bern to discuss grievances against British rule.
  • 1776: The Declaration of Independence is read publicly for the first time in North Carolina in New Bern.
  • 1792: North Carolina becomes a state, and Craven County is incorporated as one of its original counties.
  • 1803: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is founded, with land granted by William R. Davie of New Bern, a resident of Craven County.
  • 1862: The Battle of New Bern takes place during the American Civil War, resulting in Union control of the city.
  • 1882: The North Carolina State Hospital for the Insane (now Cherry Hospital) is established in Goldsboro, which was formerly part of Craven County.
  • 1918: Camp Glenn, later renamed Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, is established near Havelock.
  • 1942: The Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American military aviators in the United States Army Air Corps, train at the segregated Tuskegee Army Airfield in Craven County.