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Cities and Towns in Craven County

Click on the towns below to visit their websites

    Brices Creek


    Cove City


    Fairfield Harbour


    James City

    Neuse Forest

    New Bern

    River Bend

    Trent Woods



    Cherry Point

    Cherry Branch

    Adams Creek

History of Craven County

Tryon Palace - New Bern, North Carolina

The county seat was first called Chattawka, or Chattoocka, and later, in 1723, Newbern - the law fixed the spelling in 1897 to New Bern. 

Craven County, which is located in eastern North Carolina, is bounded on the north by Beaufort and Pitt counties; on the west by Lenoir County; on the south by Jones and Carteret counties; and on the east by Pamlico and Carteret counties. The area is 699 square miles (447,360 acres). The elevation ranges from 15 feet at New Bern to nearly 63 feet at Dover, which is in the extreme western part of the county.

Craven County, originally named Archdale County, was formed in 1705. The name changed in 1712. The county was named for Lord Proprietor William, Lord Craven. Native Americans of the Tuscarora tribe originally inhabited the region. German, Swiss, and English colonists settled the area. The county seat was initially Chattoocka, but in 1723 it was moved to New Bern, which remains the county seat to this day. New Bern, located at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers, was important in the eighteenth century because it was the capital of North Carolina, as well as one of its most populous cities.

Tyron Palace, the reconstructed home of the colonial governor of North Carolina during the 1770s, Cherry Point Marine Corps Naval Air Station, and part of Croatan National Forest are all located in the county.

Tryon Palace was originally constructed between 1767 and 1770. The Georgian style buildings first served as a meeting place for the colonial assembly and a residence for the Royal Governor appointed by the King of England. Only two Royal Governors occupied the palace - William Tryon and Josiah Martin. Governor Tryon was appointed governor of the New York colony after occupying the palace for slightly over one year. Governor Martin succeeded Tryon as the Royal Governor, but did not remain in residence at Tryon Palace for long. In May 1775, he was forced by patriots to flee the palace so quickly that he left his belongings behind.

During the Revolutionary War, the North Carolina General Assembly met in Tryon Palace and the elected governors lived there. In 1798, the main structure burned to the ground. The palace outbuildings remained in disrepair until the 1940s and 1950s when the palace was reconstructed from the original architectural plans. Of the current structures, all buildings are reconstructed buildings except the stables. Tryon Palace was opened to the public in April 1959. The current buildings, furnishings, and gardens represent the times of the Royal Governors.

The Palace grounds front the Trent River on the south and Pollock Street on the north. The northside, circular courtyard is flanked by the Kitchen Office on the east and the Stables on the west. Behind the two-story Kitchen Building is the Kitchen Garden and Smoke House. The Blacksmth Shop is located outside the walled courtyard in the northeast corner, near the Kitchen Office. There are several gardens, and two allees - a walk between evenly planted trees or clipped hedges. A third allee, known as Entrance Allee, runs between the main entrance to the walled courtyard and the Pollock Street gates.

The main building has two floors of living space. The first floor courtyard entrance opens into the large square hall with a white and black marble floor. The servants hall to the right of the entrance hall. The library is to the left of the entry hall, behind the library is the Council Chamber where the colonial assembly and then the NC General Assembly met. The Dining Room and the Parlor are across the back of the house, overlooking the great lawn and the Trent River. The second floor has bedchambers, a dressing room, the Family Supper Room and the Above Stairs Parlor. One extremely unusual feature is the use of dual staircases between the floors - The Great Stair Case for the Governor, family members and guests, the Lesser Stair Case for the servants.

- Source: J.D. Lewis - Little River, SC


More Information

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 91,436 people, 34,582 households, and 25,071 families residing in the county. The population density was 129 people per square mile (50/km²). There were 38,150 housing units at an average density of 54 per square mile (21/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 69.94% White, 25.12% Black or African American, 0.42% Native American, 0.99% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.78% from other races, and 1.68% from two or more races. 4.02% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 34,582 households out of which 33.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.80% were married couples living together, 12.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.50% were non-families. 23.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.60% under the age of 18, 12.80% from 18 to 24, 27.90% from 25 to 44, 21.20% from 45 to 64, and 13.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 101.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $35,966, and the median income for a family was $42,574. Males had a median income of $28,163 versus $21,412 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,423. About 9.90% of families and 13.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.50% of those under age 18 and 11.00% of those age 65 or over.

- Source: Wikipedia