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    Museum of Cape FearMuseum of Cape Fear Fayetteville, North Carolina
    The Museum of Cape Fear Historical Complex provides a look at the historical and cultural heritage of southern North Carolina, that opened in 1988 in Fayetteville, as a regional branch of the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh, and includes the Arsenal Park, 1897 Poe House and the main history museum. The museum has displays about European settlers, Native Americans, European explorers, slavery, local industry that includes naval stores industry and textiles, transportation on plank roads and steamboat, folk pottery, natural history and the history of Fayetteville during the Civil War. There is a marvelous early 20th century general store with period merchandise shown. The Poe House is a historic house museum that was furnished as it might have looked like in the late Victorian age, with docent led tours that talk about the changes in the period's social, cultural and family history. Arsenal Park is situated behind the museum, on four and a half acres that feature the remains of the Fayetteville Confederate arsenal that had been destroyed by General William T. Sherman and his 60,000 man army in 1865. It is the oldest history museum in the state, since it was founded in 1898 in one room, that today now contains and houses over 50,000 objects. Frederick Augustus Olds, the city editor of the Raleigh News and Observer, would begin collecting relics and artifacts from around the state, and listening to the incredible stories that were related to the pieces, and in 1902, he would add his collection to the state's and opened as the Hall of History. The state historical commission would assume control of the hall and create a twofold purpose, to teach history of the state and to preserve its historical materials. Over the years, it would continue to grow and expand, and today it a marvelous museum to visit and learn more about this glorious state and its exciting history and heritage.

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    1897 Poe House1897 Poe House Fayetteville, North Carolina
    According to historical records, on August 10, 1896, Lot #2 of the old former US arsenal in Fayetteville, North Carolina, was deeded to Josephine Poe, the wife of Edgar Allen Poe, and on this plot of land, he would start the construction of his two story frame house, as well as a wellhouse, smokehouse, barn and woodhouse in 1897. Poe was a successful politician, businessman and civic leader, and one of the first people to settle in the Haymount area around the turn of the century. The buildings would be constructed by Ruffin Vaughn, and the house showcases rare Eastlake qualities, with other important elements of the house including the front bay, exterior sawn work, tongue-and-groove wainscoting, bullseye molding throughout the interior and a marvelous wrap-around porch to let the cool breezes flow through the house to cool it off during the hot summer months. It is presently owned by the Museum of Cape Fear, and is now a historic house museum that interprets the late 19th and early 20th century social, family and cultural history.  Quite coincidentally, the Edgar Allen Poe that this article and house speaks of is not the writer, Edgar Allen Poe, but the brickyard owner, who would supply large amounts of brick to construct numerous buildings in the city, with some still standing today. Another ironic note is that this Mr. Poe, would not construct his house with the bricks that he manufactured, but instead, choose to build it using plain wood. So, when you visit the house and look for any articles or books that pertain to this family, then it has been purchased and brought here.

April 26, 2011