From backcountry farmers, who in 1771 provided the model for America's revolutionary war, to resolutions, skirmishes and even the discovery of gold, "It's Revolutionary!" events will happen at state historic sites this spring. Rare colonial documents from the State Archives also will be displayed at the North Carolina Museum of History now through June 20.
The "It's Revolutionary!" observance started July 4, 2015, and will continue through July 4, 2017. It honors North Carolina's role in the forefront of the call for freedom from England and establishment of an independent United States. Ten colonial history-related state historic sites and the State Archives will offer programming during the course of the observance.
Historic Halifax, Halifax
April 12. Halifax Day: Celebrate the 240th anniversary of the Halifax Resolves, the first call for independence from England by an American colony. Tour historic buildings, see demonstrations of period crafts by costumed interpreters and hear a reading about the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge and the Halifax Resolves of April 1776. A reception will follow. Free.
June 18-19. Halifax Revolutionary War Days: Military drill and maneuvers, encampment, historic weapons firings, tours of historic buildings and a revolutionary-era skirmish and hits of the 1770s will be shared. Period documents on a special loan from the State Archives will be displayed. Free.
Fort Dobbs, Statesville
April 16-17. War for Empire: Re-enactors portray the soldiers, settlers and American Indians on North Carolina's colonial frontier during the Seven Years War (1745-1763), principally between England and France. Enjoy music, cooking, stone carving and wood working demonstrations; a performance of "Attakullakulla: Cherokee Peace Chief." $3.
House in the Horseshoe, Sanford
April 23. An Afternoon Retreat: Enjoy an afternoon at House in the Horseshoe home which Gov. Benjamin Williams named 'Retreat." Enjoy demonstrations of butter churning, spinning and weaving, toys, games and more. Help plant in the herb and vegetable gardens and to take home something to grow yourself. Free.
Alamance Battleground, Burlington
May 15-16. Alamance Battle Re-enactment: Relive the 1771 battle between backcountry farmers protesting dishonest sheriffs, illegal fees and taxation who rise up against Royal Governor William Tryon and his loyalist militia. This first-time site battle re-enactment captures the Regulators attitudes against the militia and the loss by the rebellious farmers as the colony stood on the brink of revolution. Free, parking $5.
Historic Bath, Bath
May 28. Bath Fest/First Port Tri-centennial Celebration: See how the maritime history of Bath influenced its development from South Main Street. Visit the Palmer Marsh House and Harding Landing to experience life in North Carolina's first town and port. Arts and crafts vendors, food vendors and a performance of the Carolina Coastline Band will help you dance the night away at Bonner's Point. Free.
Reed Gold Mine, Midland
June 18. From Mercenary to Mine: Before John Reed discovered that the shiny rock he used as a doorstop was a 17-pound gold nugget, he had been a Hessian soldier who deserted at the end of the Revolutionary War. Costumed interpreters will give tours of the site of his home, and there will be lectures, exhibits and weapons demonstrations. Adults, $5; ages 3-12, $2.
Historic Halifax, Fort Dobbs. House in the Horseshoe, Alamance Battleground, Historic Bath and Reed Gold Mine are within the Division of State Historic Sites of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.