Cowan Museum of History and Science

Cowan Museum of History and Science The Cowan Museum of History and Science is housed within the Kelly-Farrior House (ca.1848) and has an adjacent historical park and botanical garden.
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Hours of operation: Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Due to COVID-19, the following is effective September 8, 2020: 1. Up to 10 visitors may be in the main building at a time. 2. Face masks are mandatory. 3. All tours are self-guided during the COVID-19 pandemic. 4. No public restrooms are available at this time.

Mission: The Cowan Museum of History and Science collects, preserves and interprets objects relating to regional history, its peoples, and the sciences. We strive to inspire the joy of learning about our world and how to make it a better place.

Operating as usual

Tonight is the night!
12/21/2020

Tonight is the night!

Happy #WinterSolstice ❄️☀️.

Don’t forget that we are hosting a FREE virtual skywatching event tonight at 6 p.m. with Raleigh Astronomy Club to watch the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn.

What other way is there to celebrate the longest night of the year, than to witness the closest Jupiter and Saturn have been in the sky since 1623?

Register, and let’s witness history together: https://moreheadplanetarium.org/jupiter-saturn-conjunction/

📸NASA/ Bill Ingalls

12/09/2020

Due to a water outage, the museum will have to close today, 12/9, at 1:00 p.m. We plan to reopen tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.

Here is a flyer from our fellow department, Duplin County Animal Services.
12/08/2020

Here is a flyer from our fellow department, Duplin County Animal Services.

Is the pandemic getting to you? Parents, do you need to get the kids out of the house for a short, no-cost outing? Offic...
12/05/2020

Is the pandemic getting to you? Parents, do you need to get the kids out of the house for a short, no-cost outing? Office, retail, and essential workers, do you need a calm, peaceful place to go during lunch time to eat your take-out or bag lunch? The Cowan Museum of History and Science invites everyone to come stroll around the botanical garden, sit on a bench or “toad stool,” and listen to the wind chimes. It’s free and open to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You could get a book from the Little Free Library by the museum porch and read while sitting in the garden.

Or, you may want to walk around the grounds after work, when it starts to get dark, and see the holiday lights while sipping a hot cocoa (from McDonalds across the street).

The Cowan Museum of History and Science is located in the heart of Kenansville between Liberty Hall and Kenan Park’s tennis courts on Main Street. You can park in the lot shared by Liberty Hall and the museum. Pass the kitchen garden and enter the Joann Cowan Brown Botanical Garden between the old general store and the museum. You can also see exhibits inside Cowan Museum for free, Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Public restrooms are not currently available and COVID-19 restrictions apply. Please see cowanmuseum.org, call 910-296-2149, or see posters on the door for COVID-19 restrictions. You may also want to visit Liberty Hall next door. Check libertyhallnc.org or call 910-296-2175 for admission prices and other information.

Here's something that will be included in the County's next employee newsletter...An Unexpected Treasure by Robin Grotke...
12/03/2020

Here's something that will be included in the County's next employee newsletter...

An Unexpected Treasure
by Robin Grotke, Director

This past September, a new volunteer from the Albertson area, Aaron Adams, started helping museum staff with various jobs, such as cleaning the buildings in the historical park, gardening, and cataloging geology specimens and artifacts. Soon after Aaron began his service, his mother, Rhonda Adams, brought a plastic storage bin into the museum which contained items her grandfather, John Hill Sanderson (J. H.), had collected and saved during his lifetime. Rhonda thought I’d find some of the material interesting, since I work in a history museum, and left the box in the museum’s care so that I could look through its contents.

The box was ordinary in appearance, just a white, opaque container with a black lid. Upon opening it I noticed a familiar musty odor – the kind that often emits from things people keep in rarely opened and forgotten boxes. A great deal of material to sift through was inside, including envelopes containing small, folded pieces of paper; coins and paper money; newspapers; booklets; letters; and various ephemera. I ended up spending a couple of weeks going through the contents and realized it was a treasure of local history, which centers on Duplin County, and dates from 1802 to the 1950s.

What struck me in particular from Rhonda Adams’ box was a series of letters to and from J. H. Sanderson and his family during WWI while he was training in the Army and, at the same time, dealing with the Spanish Flu pandemic. The letters date from July 1918 to November 1918 and reveal a steady worsening of the pandemic over the months. A letter from J. H.’s mother, Bal Sanderson, from Pink Hill, dated October 23, 1918, reads, in part:

"My Dear Son,
I received your letter yesterday and was glad to hear from you. We are all up at this time, but not very well. We have all had the fluenza. Nearly everybody around here has the dreadful disease. Lots of folks are dying with it. I tell you it is some lonesome times here…I sure hope this war will soon be over and you can all come home. We sure miss all you boys."

Now, I don’t want to worry you. Subsequent letters show that J. H. and his mother fared well though the pandemic (here’s a photo of him in 1958 next to a giant cake), but it was an exceptionally difficult time for them and for most everyone they knew. I think we can all relate to some of what Bal expressed in the letter to her son – the loneliness and missing/worrying about loved ones - but I trust that, if we’re careful, we will get through the COVID-19 pandemic and be okay.

In future newsletters, I will share some more of the treasures found in this wonderful collection from Rhonda Adams, which is now officially part of the museum’s collection. Until then, please take very good care of yourselves.

11/12/2020

This honey bee was handling its bee business this morning in the kitchen garden before the rain started. If you look closely you can even see its proboscis lapping up nectar! 🐝

Warm wishes on Veterans Day to the men and women who have worked for the welfare and the safety of our country. Thank yo...
11/10/2020

Warm wishes on Veterans Day to the men and women who have worked for the welfare and the safety of our country. Thank you for the sacrifices you have made for our peace and protection.

In observance of Veterans Day, Duplin County offices, including the Cowan Museum, will be closed on Wednesday, November 11, 2020.

Here is more from the museum's collection regarding #elections . Pictured here is Hugh S. Johnson, Jr., who ran for a Du...
10/30/2020

Here is more from the museum's collection regarding #elections . Pictured here is Hugh S. Johnson, Jr., who ran for a Duplin County seat for the NC House of Representatives in the May 1956 Democratic primary election (The Duplin Times, Kenansville, N. C., Thursday, April 26, 1956). Johnson was appointed to fill the remainder of Robert M. Carr's term in the NC House of Representatives in 1956 and was later elected to the House of
Representatives where he served from 1957 through 1970.

We hope to see many of you at Duplin County Library 's "Trunk-or-Treat Drive Thru" at the Duplin Events Center tonight, ...
10/27/2020

We hope to see many of you at Duplin County Library 's "Trunk-or-Treat Drive Thru" at the Duplin Events Center tonight, Oct. 27th, from 6:00 - 8:30 p.m. Cowan Museum staff will be there - just look for floating pigs (like the one Meagan made pictured here)! #halloween2020

Cowan Museum of History and Science's cover photo
10/24/2020

Cowan Museum of History and Science's cover photo

Cowan Museum of History and Science
10/24/2020

Cowan Museum of History and Science

A 1976 letter from the Chairman of the Wayne County Board of #Elections was donated to the Cowan Museum last year. In it...
10/20/2020

A 1976 letter from the Chairman of the Wayne County Board of #Elections was donated to the Cowan Museum last year. In it, the letter states instructions for #absenteevoting. Take a read - you may find it interesting.

Gift of Susan Williams
2019.5.1

10/20/2020

Today, Tuesday, 10/20, we will be closed briefly from 11:15 - noon.

In keeping with the spirit of #voting and the upcoming general #election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, we thought you’d ...
10/13/2020

In keeping with the spirit of #voting and the upcoming general #election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, we thought you’d enjoy seeing some of the items in our collection related to this subject.

Here's the final follow up about the #Monarch #caterpillars on the museum's grounds. It's a happy day today because many...
10/08/2020

Here's the final follow up about the #Monarch #caterpillars on the museum's grounds. It's a happy day today because many of the #butterflies have emerged from their chrysalises!

It's official - our ecoEXPLORE sign arrived today and you'll be able to find us on their map at ecoexplore.net. Check it...
10/01/2020

It's official - our ecoEXPLORE sign arrived today and you'll be able to find us on their map at ecoexplore.net. Check it out and think about participating.

As a follow up to our previous post about the Monarch butterfly caterpillars, thanks to new additions to our gardens, wh...
09/24/2020

As a follow up to our previous post about the Monarch butterfly caterpillars, thanks to new additions to our gardens, which included more plantings of Milkweed to provide nutrition for the caterpillars, we now have (at least) five chrysalises. We wish these soon-to-be pollinators the best of luck during their incredible transformation into butterflies!

Volunteer Aaron transferred Monarch caterpillars from a few of our dry, exhausted Scarlet Milkweed plants to other, more...
09/16/2020

Volunteer Aaron transferred Monarch caterpillars from a few of our dry, exhausted Scarlet Milkweed plants to other, more healthy ones throughout the gardens on the museum grounds. As of now, the little caterpillars are nibbling on nourishing leaves in their new locations.

Our wet meadow garden is full of blossoming Obedient Plants!
09/15/2020

Our wet meadow garden is full of blossoming Obedient Plants!

Cowan Museum of History and Science's cover photo
09/08/2020

Cowan Museum of History and Science's cover photo

Happening now in the kitchen garden...All the creatures pictured here were found on the tomato plants, which are quickly...
08/17/2020

Happening now in the kitchen garden...
All the creatures pictured here were found on the tomato plants, which are quickly being eaten by the horned worms that will become hawk moths. So, if you want to pick tomatoes from our garden, you may want to do it sooner than later.

Tired of making the same old things for dinner? Well, try the "Pigeons Served with Broth" recipe on page 31 in the Febru...
08/14/2020

Tired of making the same old things for dinner? Well, try the "Pigeons Served with Broth" recipe on page 31 in the February 1900 issue of The Ladies' Home Journal. We're inventorying periodicals today and this is making our staff hungry!

Our NISE Network Explore Science: Earth & Space 2019 toolkits are now available for loan for youth centers, homeschools,...
08/12/2020
Explore Science: Earth & Space 2019 toolkit | NISE Network

Our NISE Network
Explore Science: Earth & Space 2019 toolkits are now available for loan for youth centers, homeschools, etc.

All kits are thoroughly cleaned before and after use.
Give us a call, if interested!

Available:
Exploring the Solar System: Observe the Sun
Exploring the Solar System: Hide and Seek Moon
Exploring Earth: Temperature Mapping
Exploring Earth: Rising Sea
Exploring Earth: Land Cover

***
Currently on loan:
Exploring the Universe: Space Guess Quest Game
Exploring the Universe: Filtered Light
Exploring the Solar System: Pocket Solar System

Check out the website below for more information.

Hands-on STEM public engagement activities and professional development resources about Earth and space science. In collaboration with NASA, the NISE Network has assembled a new set of engaging, hands-on Earth and space science experiences with connections to science, technology, and society. Links....

We were so happy to have our friends from the Diversity Nurtures Achievements Community Youth Center visit the museum's ...
07/31/2020

We were so happy to have our friends from the Diversity Nurtures Achievements Community Youth Center visit the museum's gardens today! The kids picked figs and tomatoes and stood for a pose in the new addition to the botanical garden (picture by Earlean Rivers).

Are you in need of some new #books to read? Well, you're in luck, because the Duplin County Library is having a book sal...
07/31/2020

Are you in need of some new #books to read? Well, you're in luck, because the Duplin County Library is having a book sale today at the Cooperative Extension Auditorium (by the Duplin Events Center) until 6:00 p.m. Here's more info.:

Denver Botanic Gardens
07/17/2020

Denver Botanic Gardens

Harriet Tubman has gone down in history for numerous reasons including for her role as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. But a skill largely unmentioned -- that aided her roles as conductor, soldier and nurse -- was herbalism. According to Leah Penniman (farmer, educator, author and food sovereignty activist), enslaved herbalists fought at great costs to keep their traditions because slave owners so feared being poisoned by the people they enslaved that herbal practices were banned. Tubman used plant-based remedies, passed down from her grandmother, to treat fugitive slaves, keep babies quiet on the Underground Railroad and heal Union soldiers during the Civil War.

Imformation curated by the Gardens’ Helen Fowler Library. Image: Collection of the National Museum of African American History and Culture shared with the Library of Congress.

One of our friends from Duplin Beekeepers gave us this rain barrel to use for our gardens. It has just been repainted an...
07/16/2020

One of our friends from Duplin Beekeepers gave us this rain barrel to use for our gardens. It has just been repainted and is already collecting water.

Hagia Sophia: UNESCO deeply regrets the decision of the Turkish authorities, made without prior discussion, and calls fo...
07/10/2020

Hagia Sophia: UNESCO deeply regrets the decision of the Turkish authorities, made without prior discussion, and calls for the universal value of #WorldHeritage to be preserved. Full statement: http://on.unesco.org/326mk2C

Hagia Sophia: UNESCO deeply regrets the decision of the Turkish authorities, made without prior discussion, and calls for the universal value of #WorldHeritage to be preserved. Full statement: http://on.unesco.org/326mk2C

07/10/2020
The Museum's Botanical Garden

The Museum's Botanical Garden

This is "The Museum's Botanical Garden" by Cowan Museum on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

We have distance learning programs online for 1st and 5th graders. Scroll down to our "Remote Learning" section and enjo...
07/09/2020
Welcome

We have distance learning programs online for 1st and 5th graders. Scroll down to our "Remote Learning" section and enjoy... #DistanceLearning #Education #STEM

At the Cowan Museum of History and Science, we strive to inspire the love of learning about local history, technology, and earth sciences.

06/19/2020
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

We're fans of Lonnie Bunch, III, the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, and the first African American to lead the Smithsonian. In this this short clip, Mr. Bunch begins his discussion with one of his favorite artifacts in the museum and talks about the promise of freedom, the struggle for freedom and its significance in understanding the 19th century in the U.S. and the fate of America to this day.

The Emancipation Proclamation freed only enslaved people living in Confederate states. Many enslaved southerners first learned they were free from Union soldiers carrying copies of the decree. A miniature booklet was produced so Union soldiers could read the proclamation aloud on plantations and in cities across the South.

Smithsonian Secretary and NMAAHC Founding Director Lonnie G. Bunch III explores this object in our Slavery and Freedom gallery.

We here at Cowan Museum have an exciting citizen-science program to tell you about: EcoExplore! The EcoExplore initiativ...
06/17/2020
ecoEXPLORE

We here at Cowan Museum have an exciting citizen-science program to tell you about: EcoExplore! The EcoExplore initiative was created by the NC Arboretum for kids. Children (with the help of an adult) create a free account (www.ecoexplore.net), take photos of plants or animals, and upload their observations to the EcoExplore website. Currently its herpetology season, meaning children can earn a participation badge if they find 6 different reptiles or amphibians. You’ll find a video below with more information about this season’s objective, reptiles and amphibians, and EcoExplore in general. Happy hunting!

Oh yes! If you find something, I'd love to see it!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSvOTOpkG0Y&feature=youtu.be&utm_source=ecoEXPLORE+Newsletter&utm_campaign=d25382e390-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_05_04_08_37_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_31cc4788f3-d25382e390-436657553

Developed by The North Carolina Arboretum, this innovative program encourages kids to explore the outdoors and participate in citizen science.

June is National Pollinators Month! The Mountain Mint in our botanical garden is making many little pollinators happy!
06/08/2020

June is National Pollinators Month! The Mountain Mint in our botanical garden is making many little pollinators happy!

Talking About Race
06/07/2020
Talking About Race

Talking About Race

Who Am I? I Am an Educator Whether you are teaching infants, adults, or any age in between, you are an influential part of your students’ learning and development. Educators too have an important role in communicating our history and culture. What and how the history of race in America is presente...

Address

411 S. Main Street
Kenansville, NC
28349

General information

Dear Friends, Due to COVID-19, the Cowan Museum of History and Science will suspend its operations to the public starting Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. and remain closed until further notice. Please stay safe and be well. Hours of operation: Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is free * Donations are appreciated * Free parking * Disabled access

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10:00 - 16:00
Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00
Saturday 10:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(910) 296-2149

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About Us

The Cowan Museum of History and Science is housed within the Kelly-Farrior House (ca. 1848) and has an adjacent historical park with 6 buildings, which include a log cabin, general store, and a tobacco barn. Also on the grounds is a botanical garden with over 90 species of native plants that make up pollinator gardens, a wet meadow garden, Longleaf Pine upland garden, and a Bald Cypress wetland garden.

Objects on display show an assortment of woodworking tools, gardening tools, agricultural implements, items used in a variety of crafts and trades, medical devices, many household artifacts, and an impressive collection of rocks and minerals.

Nearby government services


Comments

Knife made in Kenansville NC on antiques roadshow this week.
Good afternoon!!
I just wanted say thank you for putting on todays event. I enjoyed the museum and the different buildings on the grounds. I look forward to future events there.
We pass through Kenansville a lot in our travels and the last few times I had hoped to stop and go through your museum. Unfortunately, you were not open, even though your hours say you are open on Tuesdays, the day I was there. Are your posted times incorrect? Your facility looks interesting, but my family can't get in to tour it!