Cape Fear Museum of History and Science
Cape Fear Museum collects, preserves and interprets objects relating to the history, science and cultures of the Lower Cape Fear. The Museum makes those objects and their interpretation available to the public through educational exhibitions and programs.
Founded in 1898 by the Daughters of the Confederacy, Cape Fear Museum is the oldest continuously operating museum of history in North Carolina. Since 1977, the museum has been owned and operated by New Hanover County. Cape Fear Museum earned accreditation by the American Association of Museums in 2000 and is one of 700+ accredited museums in the U.S.
Cape Fear Museum's collection consists of an estimated 40,000+ artifacts catalogued in the computer-based Visual Re:discovery system. Approximately 2% of the collection is on long- term display. Additional objects are highlighted in changing exhibits (three annually) and as part of small spotlight and newly-acquired artifact exhibits. While the majority of objects are 20th-century, the Museum has a significant number representing the 19th century. One-fourth of the collection are images, including photographs, negatives, slides, ambrotypes, daguerreotypes and tintypes.
Waves and Currents: The Lower Cape Fear Story, provides an overview of the region’s history and related science from pre-history through the 20th century. Children—and adults—explore the ecosystems of the Cape Fear area through hands-on components in the Michael Jordan Discovery Gallery. Two short-term galleries and lobby cases feature changing exhibits. Visitors enjoy a variety of workshops, lectures and performances in the Museum's Williston Auditorium, which seats up to 120 adults. Within the auditorium, a panel exhibit recalls the history of the the local African-American high school. Educators and docents provide curriculum-based hands-on school programs in the multi-purpose Learning Center. Funds from the N.C. Grassroots Science Museums Collaborative support special events and programs that promote informal science education.
Your donations help:
For our education programs.
There are many ways you can get involved.
Click here to learn more: