Somerset Place

Slavery – Plantation Life

Somerset Place is a representative state historic site offering a comprehensive and realistic view of 19th-century life on a large North Carolina plantation. Originally, this unusual plantation included more than 100,000 densely wooded, mainly swampy acres bordering the five-by-eight mile Lake Phelps, in present-day Washington County. During its 80 years as an active plantation (1785-1865), hundreds of acres were converted into high yielding fields of rice, corn, oats, wheat, beans, peas, and flax; sophisticated sawmills turned out thousands of feet of lumber. By 1865, Somerset Place was one of the upper South's largest plantations. Continued

The Site



Civil War







Somerset Place

What's New

  • Looking for a memorable venue for your wedding or event? Select locations at Somerset Place are available for that special occasion. Contact Karen Hayes at (252) 797-4560 to discuss your needs.

Call for Volunteers!

Somerset Place State Historic Site is actively recruiting volunteers to help at the site. Various opportunities are available, including events, visitor services, and site grounds assistance. All interested individuals are encouraged to call the site at (252) 797-4560 for more information on the volunteer program.

Upcoming Events

  • March 28:
    Rope-Making Workshop

    Saturday, 10 am - 2 pm
    Beat your cabin fever and join us in learning how to make rope. The Collins family owned one of the largest ropewalks in the country during the 1800s. Rope was a demanding commodity with many uses on plantations and supplied rope to shipbuilders at nearby ports. Participants who take part in the workshop will learn how to make four strand rope starting with cotton twine. The focus of the craft activity will be demonstrations on how to twist the yarns to form the rope. Participants will be able to take the rope they craft home. Cost for the workshop is $3.

  • May 16:
    Music and Literature of the Civil War

    Saturday, 11 am - 2 pm
    This event will feature a glimpse into the war life experiences of the Somerset Plantation residents. Visitors will gain an understanding of how the Civil War impacted plantation life and the factors the residents had to encounter in their own words. Costumed Historic Interpreters will bring Somerset's wartime history to life by sharing true stories of the plantation adapted from original letters of the era. Visitors will encounter these characters during a guided walking tour. Multi-instrumentalist Music Historian, Simon Spaulding will perform Civil War music and soldier's songs. Simon has performed lecture-concerts presenting history of a variety of times and places through song and music, for museums and other institutions throughout the United States and Europe.

Somerset Place Information

Contact Us

Somerset Place
2572 Lake Shore Road
Creswell, N.C. 27928
Phone: (252) 797-4560
Fax: (252) 797-4171

Hours of Operation

Tuesday - Saturday 9 am - 5 pm

Call ahead for hours of operation for state and federal holidays.

Admission Fee

Admission is free. Donations are welcome and appreciated.


Allow 90 minutes for orientation and a guided tour of the buildings and grounds. Wear comfortable walking shoes and appropriate clothing. See Educational Program link for student group tours.

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