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Historical Things to Do in Fayetteville NC

Historical Things to Do in Fayetteville NC

Looking for great American history?

Come visit Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Fayetteville's rich military history dates back to the Revolutionary War.

Scottish immigrants first settled in the area in 1739. The town was established in 1783. They named it Fayetteville after the Revolutionary War hero, General Marquis de LaFayette.

Nicknamed “America’s Hometown,” Fayetteville boasts a revitalized downtown. It is a thriving city full of art, culture, history, and great cuisine.

Come take a moment to discover the best historical things to do in Fayetteville NC.

The Story Behind the Babe Ruth Historic Marker

It was 1914. The Baltimore Orioles had signed George Herman “Babe” Ruth Jr two weeks earlier. They were playing an exhibition game in Fayetteville during spring training. It was his 2nd time at bat. He takes the pitch…

And launches a rocket to right field. Goodbye, baseball.

That’s right. Babe Ruth’s first major league home run happened right here in Fayetteville.

Dedicated in 1951, The Babe Ruth Historic Marker commemorates this historic event. Look for it at the intersection of Gillespie and Southern Ave.

Discover the 1897 Poe House

The 1897 Poe House is part of the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex. It was built in 1897 for the Edgar Allan “E.A.” Poe family. Mr. E.A. Poe wasn’t the famous horror writer, but rather a local businessman and civic leader.

The Poe House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. You can find it in the Haymount Historic District.

The Market House

The Market House was built in 1838 on the ruins of the old state house and Town Hall. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1973. It is one of only 40 in the state and the only one in Cumberland County.

The Market House is one of the few English-style market houses found outside of Europe.

Discover Fayetteville NC History at the Museum of the Cape Fear

Over 400 years of Fayetteville NC history come alive through exhibits and demonstrations. The Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex includes both the 1897 Poe House and Arsenal Park. This 7-acre site is one of the top historical complexes in the South.

Featured exhibits include:

  • American Indians
  • Early Exploration and Settlement
  • Naval Stores
  • The Civil War
  • Textiles
  • A General Store

Arsenal Park

The Confederacy used this arsenal to produce weapons. Union forces destroyed it in 1865. The park features marked ruins and the remains of the Northwest “Ghost Tower." It also has two civil war trail markers.

The Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum

This museum is located on Franklin Street. It is housed in the 1890 Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railroad Depot. The museum opened in 2006.

Popular exhibits include:

  • Model Train Room
  • Steamboat Interactive
  • Station Agent’s Office (replica)
  • Vintage cars
  • A 1920s gas station
  • Fayetteville’s 1880s Silsby Steam Pump Engine

Sports history fans should check out the baseball exhibit. It recounts the beginning of baseball in Fayetteville in the 1860s. And goes all the way up to the modern-day team, the Fayetteville Woodpeckers.

From the museum, you can take guided walking tours of historic downtown Fayetteville.

Fort Bragg, North Carolina

Fort Bragg plays an important part in Fayetteville NC history. It is one of the largest military bases in the world. Established in 1918, the base was named after General Braxton Bragg. General Bragg served during the Mexican-American War.

Fort Bragg is considered the home base for both US Army Airborne and Special Operations forces.

Located on the base are many historical military monuments.

  • The 16th MP - BDE - 503rd MP Battalion Memorial Garden on Butner Road
  • The 18th Airborne Corps - 101st ABN DIV (Air Assault) Monument in the Main Post Parade Field
  • The 18th Airborne Corps - 1st Expert Infantry Badge Monument is also in the Main Post Parade Field.

82ND Airborne Division War Memorial Museum

The 82nd is the US Global Response Force. They can mobilize, load, and land anywhere in the world in less than 36 hours.

Established in 1945, this museum located at Fort Bragg tells its story from 1917 to today. Come discover nearly every type of plane used by US paratroopers since WWII.

Visit the Airborne and Special Operations Museum

The Airborne and Special Operations Museum was established in August 2000. It honors our nation’s soldiers and covers 80 years of Army Airborne and Special Operations. The museum is free to visit but welcomes donations.

Exhibits cover the history of US Army Airborne and Special Operations forces. They go from their birth up to the Global War on Terrorism. Many depict life-size battlefield scenes.

The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday.

Exploring Cultural Heritage Trails

Greater Fayetteville and Cumberland County have 15 themed driving trails. They cover more than 750 miles.

Click here for an online guide to all the themed trails, including important sites.

What to see on the All-American Adventure Trail in Fayetteville

This trail is perfect for nature lovers and active vacationers. Some notable stops are:

  • Black Ops Paintball
  • Cape Fear River Trail
  • Carvers Creek State Park
  • Cape Fear Botanical Garden

Patriots Past and Present Trail 

Looking for more historical things to do? Check out the Patriots Past and Present trail. At over 90 miles long, you’d need a car to see it all. But two main stops are great for walking.

Start at the Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. From here you can explore all the sites in historic downtown.

Or visit Fort Bragg and explore the sites in and around the base.

No matter what kind of history you’re into, you’ll find it in Fayetteville NC.

Museums, monuments, historical sites.

Ready for a break? Enjoy fresh NC seafood or North Carolina BBQ at one of its great restaurants.

Come explore all the great historical things to do in Fayetteville NC.

You’ll soon discover why Fayetteville is called “America’s Hometown.”

This place is for Publicity

This place is for Publicity

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