Relive the Past at Durham's Three State Historic Sites

Relive the Past at Durham's Three State Historic Sites

The great thing about Durham's three historic sites aside from the fact they're all within minutes of each other is die linear plot line that unites them. All three are linked by the Civil War, setting up in a prewar, war and post-war narrative.


First up, there's Historic Stagville, a prewar plantation that housed nearly 1.000 slaves across its 30,000 acres, making it the largest plantation in state (and one of the largest in the South). But unlike something you'd see In Charleston, Stagville isn't your grand antebellum plantation. In fact, you! might be shocked at its modesty. The buildings that remain include the 18th-century Bennehan House and a handful of slave dwellings.
Up next is Bennett Place, an unassuming farmhouse where a nation-altering event took place. It was here in 1865 that Gen. Joseph Johnston of the Confederate Army met up with Gen.

William Sherman from the Union to sign the South's surrender papers (it happened 17 days after the more-known surrender at Appomattox, Va)

With that, the largest troop surrender in the Civil War officially commenced, relieving nearly 90,000 soldiers across the South. In addition to the farmhouse reconstruction, the site offers a visitors' center, museum, gift shop and a fascinating film.
Lastly, there's the Duke Homestead, where the Duke family's tobacco fortune was born. It was here in the mid- 1800s that Washington Duke, a Durham farmer who fought in the Civil War, began growing and processing tobacco. From those first early plants came American Tobacco, the world's largest tobacco company during them early 1900s. These days, the estate features the family home, a few processing facilities, and a living museum of tobacco history. Guided tours are held at 15 past each hour during the day.

All three historic sites can be visited in a few hours time. For information on all three, including hour sand directions. go to

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