Searching for Serendipity in Beautiful North Carolina
Sunset on Cape Fear River
Welcome to ncgypsy.com, a travel sampler featuring things to do and see in North Carolina. The categories above are loaded with info about various cities and sites throughout the state so please take your time perusing the pages. Your feedback is always welcome! Feel free to drop a line with comments, suggestions, or just to say hello via the Contact link at top. Also use the links upper right at the top to follow ncgypsy.com on Twitter and to 'Like' us on Facebook.
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Behind the Scenes Look at Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge Conservation Begins March 4
GREENVILLE, N.C. -- Special training and skill are required to extract the glass beads, trigger guards, and even the cannons from the cement-like casings that contain them when they are recovered from Blackbeard's flagship, Queen Anne's Revenge (QAR), from under the sea. It is part of the time-consuming work of conservators who treat thousands of artifacts from the shipwreck. Exclusive behind-the-scene tours will begin March 4 to reveal the magic at the QAR lab.
The QAR Conservation Lab is offering opportunities for a special behind-the-scenes look at conservation in progress through different types of tours -- First Tuesdays, Special Group Tours, Open Houses and Educational Class visits. Visitors will be able to share the excitement of being among the first to see objects last looked upon by pirates almost 300 years ago, in addition to helping to support the work of the QAR Lab.
Each tour includes visiting the warehouse containing one of the largest collections of cannons to be excavated from a single wreck, parts of the hull structure, and a 12-foot anchor from the pirate ship. Mastery of the mysteries of the sea through X-ray technology, a preview of artifacts ready for museum exhibit and other processes will be explained.
To book a tour, please email email@example.com or call (252) 744-6721. More information on visiting the lab is here.
Reservations are required for the First Tuesday tours, 10-11:30 a.m. or 2-3:30 p.m. A $10 per person donation is requested to Friends of QAR, which can be applied to membership in the group that supports the work of the QAR team. A maximum of 15 people is allowed per tour, and the tour is best suited for visitors older than 12-years-old.
Special group tours can also be booked. These include an introductory presentation, refreshments and a tour of the lab. This tour requires a $20 per person donation to the Friends of QAR, which also can be applied to membership. Reservations must be made at least one month in advance. A maximum of 30 people can participate per tour and must be aged 12 or older.
Two free Open House programs are scheduled, April 26, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Nov. 15, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. No reservations are required for the Open House programs and all ages are welcome. Members of the Friends of QAR get a preview at 10 a.m. each Open House date. Free educational tours are also available by scheduling a month in advance for a maximum of 20 people per tour, ages 12 and older.
The staff looks forward to greeting visitors and showing the action from behind-the-scenes. The tours are free to members of the Friends of QAR members and the free Open House events will open the lab to all visitors.The QAR Shipwreck Project and the conservation lab are part of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.The lab is located near East Carolina University in Greenville.
About the Discovery of the Queen Anne's Revenge
The Queen Anne's Revenge ran aground in Beaufort in June 1718. Intersal, Inc., a private research firm, discovered the site believed to be Queen Anne's Revenge (QAR) on November 21, 1996. QAR was located near Beaufort Inlet, N.C., by Intersal's director of operations, Mike Daniel, who used historical research provided by Intersal's president, Phil Masters. For more information, please visit www.lat3440.com and www.qaronline.org.
Source: N.C. Department of Cultural Resources
"This Day in North Carolina History"
Want to know what happened in NC on this date in history? Click on the image above to visit the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources blog that's loaded with tidbits of historical facts.
Free Programs Examine Slavery and Freedom in Western North Carolina March 8
ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- "African American history in North Carolina does not stop at the foothills, but extends west across the mountains," observes Earl Ijames, N.C. Museum of History curator of African American history. "Archival records, journals, and other documents verify freedom seeking by the enslaved, and contributions by those free." Ijames will be the guest speaker at two different programs March 8.
Ijames will present a program on slavery and freedom March 8 at noon at Mountain Gateway Museum in Old Fort, and again at 4 p.m. in Asheville at the Western Regional Office of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. Both free programs are open to the public. The noontime program at Mountain Gateway is a "Lunch and Learn" event where participants bring lunch and a drink is provided.
The Freedom for All Exhibit is at the Mountain Gateway Museum through March 19. The exhibit examines the path from the Emancipation Proclamation to the 13th Amendment, which outlawed slavery in the United States. Ijames was the curator who organized the traveling exhibit, which will tour libraries, historic sites, museums, and other cultural venues through Aug. 10, 2015. His talk at Mountain Gateway will examine the exhibit and also reference documents and artifacts from that period.
At the Western Regional Office, Ijames will focus on the history of struggle and documents relating to slavery and the Civil War. Many of the formerly enslaved freedom seekers sought refuge in the mountains. There are stories also of escapes from western North Carolina to New Bern. No major battles were fought in western North Carolina, but an intense and violent guerilla war raged there.
The program is part of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War administered by the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. The traveling exhibit and the "Freedom Coming, Freedom for All" exhibition at the N.C. Museum of History are joint projects of the N.C. Museum of History and the N.C. Freedom Monument Park.
For more information, please call either (919) 807-7389, Mountain Gateway at (828) 668-9259 or the Western Regional Office at (828) 296-7230. The Division of State History Museums and the Western Regional Office are within the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.
Source: N.C. Department of Cultural Resources
Celebrate Women's History with N.C. Women Who Made a Mark in Music
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Whether it's the "Happiest Girl in the Whole USA," or "Killing Me Softly with His Song," North Carolina women have made it big in the music world. Across genres of country, folk, bluegrass, pop, rhythm and blues, or gospel, female singers from North Carolina have won awards and respect worldwide. Only a few of the many are highlighted here.
Mount Airy's Donna Fargo's recording, "Happiest Girl in the Whole USA" was one of the hits that kept her in the Country Top 10 throughout the 1970s. Unlike many of her contemporaries, she wrote some of her songs, and in recent times wrote poetry and greeting cards. Roberta Flack of Asheville shared smooth jazz-based stylings that kept "Killing Me Softly with His Song" on top of the charts for five weeks in 1973, and earned three Grammys, including Record and Song of the Year. Flack continues to perform today.
North Carolina women's involvement with the music business goes back decades. In 1924, the Columbia Phonograph Company of New York recorded 12 songs of banjo player Samantha Biddix Bumgarner. She was the first Appalachian banjo player and the first female country performer to make a commercial record. Some of the women can trace the roots of their traditional music centuries back. Mary Jane Queen, of Jackson County, traced her lineage to early settlers from Ulster, Ireland. All of her family sang or played guitar or fiddle. Bessie Eldridge of Ashe County, born in 1913, also carries on traditional songs she has heard all her life.
Women in blues also made themselves heard. Piedmont blues guitarist Etta Baker of Caldwell County influenced many musicians. She recorded sporadically for more than 40 years, her last album in 1991. Her songs "Railroad Bill" and "One Dime Blues" are standards of the Piedmont blues sound. But it was a move from Belhaven, N.C. to Brooklyn, N.Y. that helped put Eva Narcussus Boyd "Little Eva" on the map. She was a baby sitter for the songwriting team of Carole King and Gerry Goffin and recorded their song "Loco-motion" as a demo. It became a number one pop hit in 1962, and other hits followed.
Some other women moved to the state and made a mark on the music world. Singer-songwriter Emmylou Harris is a native of Birmingham, Ala., and attended UNC-Greensboro. While there, she began performing in coffee houses and clubs and released several country albums in the 1970s. In 1980, she won a Grammy for "Roses in the Snow." Singer-songwriter Tift Merritt moved to North Carolina from Texas at an early age, and got her start in Triangle clubs playing with bands like Two Dollar Pistol. She won a songwriting contest at Merlefest in 2000. Among her recordings is the Grammy-nominated "Tambourine."
Singer-composer-pianist Nina Simone, of Tryon, performed jazz, rhythm and blues, and protest songs in the 1960s. Her rendition of George Gershwin's "I Loves You Porky" was a top 40 hit. Simone made records into the 1990s. Fantasia Barrino, of High Point, won the third season of American Idol in 2004, singing "Summertime" from Gershwin's Porky and Bess. In 2006, she received four Grammy nominations and also has starred on Broadway.
One of the most awarded of North Carolina's musical mavens is gospel singer Shirley Caesar, of Durham. She sang with the group the Caravans before launching her solo career in 1966. Known as the First Lady of Gospel, she has been recognized with 11 Grammy awards, 17 Dove awards, 12 Stellar Awards, and was inducted into the Gospel Hall of Fame in 2000. Her best known songs include "No Charge" and "Don't Drive Your Mama Away." She has appeared on Broadway in Born to Sing and Mama, I Want to Sing. She serves as pastor of a Raleigh church in addition to performing.
For a more on North Carolina's women in music, including some fantastic audio, visit ncdcr.gov/WomenInMusic. The North Carolina Arts Council also recognizes traditional musicians with the North Carolina Heritage Award, and guidebooks including "Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina" and "African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina." The Arts Council is a division of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.
About the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources (NCDCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state's cultural resources to build the social, cultural and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susan Kluttz, NCDCR's mission is to enrich lives and communities by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history and libraries in North Carolina that will spark creativity, stimulate learning, preserve the state's history and promote the creative economy. NCDCR was the first state organization in the nation to include all agencies for arts and culture under one umbrella.
Through arts efforts led by the N.C. Arts Council, the N.C. Symphony and the N.C. Museum of Art, NCDCR offers the opportunity for enriching arts education for young and old alike and spurring the economic stimulus engine for our state's communities. NCDCR's Divisions of Archives and Records, Historical Resources, State Historic Sites and State History Museums preserve, document and interpret North Carolina's rich cultural heritage to offer experiences of learning and reflection. NCDCR's State Library of North Carolina is the principal library of state government and builds the capacity of all libraries in our state to develop and to offer access to educational resources through traditional and online collections including genealogy and resources for the blind and physically handicapped.
NCDCR annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council and the State Archives. NCDCR champions our state's creative industry that accounts for more than 300,000 jobs and generates nearly $18.5 billion in revenues. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit www.ncdcr.gov.
Photos courtsey of NC Department of Cultural Resources
Source: NC Department of Cultural Resources
Events to Mark the 150th Anniversary