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

History

Slavery

Civil War

People

Features

Historic:

Reconstructed:

Grounds:

Resources

Somerset Place

Special GPS Notice

Many visitors report trouble using GPS navigation when driving here. We suggest taking exit 558 from highway US64. Then simply follow the signs to Somerset Place. (Lat: 35.789148/Long:-76.403627)

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

  • February 18:
    Black History Lecture:
    Slave Voices in North Carolina

    Location: Creswell High School Auditorium
    Saturday, 1 - 2 pm

    Lucinda MacKethan, Ph.D. will introduce the personal narratives, letters, poetry, and interviews of North Carolina slaves and discuss how these works fill in a lost or often distorted picture of slavery in our state before the Civil War. The narratives of Moses Roper, Lunsford Lane, and Harriet Jacobs; the poetry of George Moses Horton; and interviews from the WPA narratives will be explored to give a realistic picture of how NC slaves lives, worked, created families, worshipped, and sometimes escaped from bondage. The lecture will focus on Somerset Place (Creswell) and Stagville, plantations now open to the public that show the everyday world of slaves. The lecture will be held at Creswell High School Auditorium, and is open to the public with free admission. This project is made possible by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


  • April 15:
    Easter Extravaganza

    Saturday, 1 - 3 pm
    Come and experience fun, crafts and historic demonstrations. Pack a lunch and your camera, and celebrate Easter at Somerset Place. An Easter egg hunt will be held for children ages 10 and under at 1 pm. The young ones are invited to bring their baskets and join in on our Easter egg hunt. There will be separate hunting areas for age groups. Historic Interpreters will offer a small basket making hands-on craft activity before and after the big search, recommended for ages 10 and up. Historic dye demonstrations will also be offered. Activity fee of $2 plus applicable taxes for hunt and crafts.


View NC Culture Calendar

Somerset Place Information

Contact Us

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

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.

Tours

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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