Discover the Past and Present of Fayetteville North Carolina

Fayetteville, North Carolina is a city rich in history with the support of an interactive community. Their history helps them be the city they are today. A city that embraces change and the desire for tolerance and acceptance for each individual’s mindsets and lifestyles. Discovering the past and present of Fayetteville North Carolina during our recent visit was a delight.

Home of Fort Bragg, Fayetteville incorporates their respect for their military in the walls of the Airborne & Special Operations Museum. In addition, this city shows its pride of history in the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex coupled with Fayetteville area Transportation & Local History Museum, and E.A. Poe House. Equally, Cape Fear Botanical Garden and the local art are examples of the fun and beauty found here.

Airborne & Special Operations Museum

The Airborne & Special Operations Museum displays the history of past wars to present day. Walking through each exhibit the public gains glimpses to events in history, as well as, new facts we didn’t learn in past history classes. For example, the Ghost Army was unknown to the general public for 40 years after the war. However, the ASOM’s informative exhibit reveals the secrets behind the Ghost Army in WWII.

Discover the Past and Present of Fayetteville North Carolina

Ghost Army

During WWII, 1100 men made up a tactical unit to confuse the enemy by impersonating other allied troops. They successfully drew enemy fire by setting up mock invasions with inflatable tanks, as well as soldiers, aircraft and fake artillery while using speakers to broadcast sounds of fighting from allied forces in battle.

Past Wars

Visitors walk through exhibits of each war seeing the weaponry, uniforms, and reading stories about soldiers’ heroism. However, this museum adds a new twist to learning history by experiencing things our soldiers experience as well.

Stepping into the Shoes of Soldiers

Not only does the Airborne & Special Operation Museum display the history but also invite their guests to experience what it is like to be on a mission. We sat on the seats used for airborne personnel to fly in and deploy to enemy territory. Experiencing jumping from a plane is also a simulation they offer for those with an adventurous heart.
Gaining empathy from these experiences, one begins to understand the heart of a soldier. Abandoning comfort and swallowing their fear a soldiers trudges on to fight for beliefs that are innate within them to keep our freedom as a self-governing country.

Vietnam Recognition

The Vietnam War displays and honors those that fought as well as the prisoners of war.

Discover the Past and Present of Fayetteville North Carolina
Present Wars of the Middle East are captured as well with displays of photos, equipment and uniforms worn by present day military personnel.

Roles of Soldiers During Times of Peace

Our military personnel continue to work even during times of peace on US and foreign soil.

Discover the Past and Present of Fayetteville North Carolina

The Effect of Viewing Our Military History

There is a realization that most will be keenly aware of after a tour through the Airborne & Special Operations Museum. Before visiting this museum one would think heroes emerge from wars. All things considered, in truth, all service men and women are heroes. Those that choose this role are keenly aware of the magnitude of independence, sovereignty, and the power of free speech, that our freedom brings.
From that knowledge they sign up to defend our freedom and give that same opportunity to those on foreign soil.

After leaving the museum guests will be awe-inspired of the greatness, strategy and bravery possessed by mere mortals who refuse to let our liberties be surrendered.

Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex

Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex is where the old state house was erected and lost in a fire. It is a valuable stop to learn about the cities’ history, transportation, as well as, their past entrepreneurs, craftsmen and writers.

Fayetteville citizens of all cultures and their contributions to the city are displayed in the complex. Incidentally, the museum building was once the town hall and market place. The original structure remains the same as the second floor houses the unique history of the city. Formerly known as the Market House, it aided past merchants to conduct their business after the town burnt in 1831. The tradition continues on Saturdays where vendors arrive to sell their products under tents for the public.

Discover the Past and Present of Fayetteville North Carolina
Before leaving pick up a passport because our travel through history continues! Each place will stamp your passport.

Discover the Past and Present of Fayetteville North Carolina

Transportation and Local History Museum

Located next door to the historical complex is the Transportation and Local History Museum. By comparison to the present day, transportation was equally as important in the past. Therefore, what better way to show the growth of travel than to display from whence they grew?

Discover the Past and Present of Fayetteville North Carolina
Obviously, transportation is the focus of this museum. Public water was provided for horses when used as the main form of transportation. A trough is on display here as well as a harness shop for the needs of travelers.
A 1921 historic Fayetteville fire truck is now retired to the museum for the public to view as well as a steam engine and modern forms of travel. Piedmont Airlines was a popular airline offering more flights for military personnel working in the Fort Bragg base located in Fayetteville.

E.A. Poe House

Fayetteville’s E.A. Poe was a successful businessman and owner of Poe Brick Company. He also hired local potters to label their jugs, pitchers and vases to establish Poe & Co. Selling at wholesale prices, merchants bought his pottery to sell in their retail businesses. Husband and father, he and his wife raised 8 children during the first decade of the twentieth century.

The Poe house is open for tours so visitors may see the lovely 2 story home built in 1897.

Discover the Past and Present of Fayetteville North Carolina
Lillie Poe, the last surviving child of E.A. Poe, is responsible for donating the house and items to the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex. A nurturing father and devoted husband, E.A. Poe deeded the home to his wife so it was in her name when he passed.

Tours are available to see the Poe home and learn about his contributions to the residents of Fayetteville as well as to his family. Clothing, furniture, jewelry are all kept to the period in which the family lived. Holiday events are always on the calendar to involve the community and to keep the memories of the Poe family alive. When visiting Fayetteville this is a memorable tour filled with beauty, love of family, and to see just how effective one man can be for his city.

Stepping From The Past Into The Present

Fayetteville North Carolina is not just all about the past. Those interested in history, shopping, tasting the local food at their eating places and exploring the city will enjoy the artwork and creativity of the local artists. This is a city that supports and is supported by the community.

Downtown is host to a number of restaurants as well as being a hub for several art shops. Conveniently located is the Arts Center downtown. Fun art decorates the downtown area sidewalks that gives a gaiety and unique look to their area.

Discover the Past and Present of Fayetteville North Carolina

Botanical Garden

Let beauty surround you while visiting the Cape Fear Botanical Garden. Mixed with a bit of history this lovely 80 acre garden is a true discovery for those that love nature and still want to experience a bit of history.

The botanical garden’s old general store gives visitors a fun look at how shopping could to be for residents of the past. The potbelly stove beckons customers to sit in an empty chair and warm up by the fire while merchandise sits on the shelves. An authentic register rests on the counter for customers of the past to purchase their needs.

Not very far away is a farmhouse in a natural setting. The necessities of life for any country resident is stored in the rooms of this tiny home. By comparison it gives each visitor the realization of the difference of lifestyle between the city life of the Poe Home to those that lived the country life.

Discover the Past and Present of Fayetteville North Carolina
Cape Fear Botanical Garden is a lovely getaway to nature. Flowers and landscapes offer a magical escape for visitors and their community to revive their senses of sight, touch, smell and hearing.

It could very well be a whole day experience by enjoying a stroll through their natural settings while letting the imagination soar by pretending to be in the Hundred Acres Woods with Pooh and his friends or discovering the beauty and restoring powers of flowers with Mary Lennox from the Secret Garden.

Discover the Past and Present of Fayetteville North Carolina


Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an the author of "Getting Laid" and "Getting Baked". A sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky, when she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s making tea and writing about country living and artisan culture.
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