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

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 complete an application, or call the site at (252) 797-4560 for more information on the volunteer program.

Upcoming Events

  • December 2:
    Christmas Open House

    Sunday, 1 pm to 4 pm
    Visitors will be inspired by traditional holiday decorations of fresh natural and floral arrangements adorning the exterior and interior of site buildings. Explore the plantation on a self-guided tour with staff members and volunteers available in each structure to answer questions. A costumed "doctor" from the mid-nineteenth century will also be on hand to discuss antebellum medicine in the plantation hospital. Share a tasty meal of black-eyed peas and hearth-cooked cornbread prepared from hand-ground corn. Sip delicious hot spiced tea and sample homemade desserts. Enjoy period Christmas music with instrumentalist Robert Waters of Columbia, N.C., and live caroling from the Columbia High School trio chorus. For younger audiences, jolly Saint Nicholas will appear in the Collins House from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. This year's Open House will commemorate the life of Alecia Rodgers, a former employee who passed away in January 2018. Alecia was a descendant of the former enslaved community at Somerset and was passionate about sharing the site's history over the course of her seventeen-year career. Admission is free. Donations are welcomed and appreciated.

  • Stay tuned for upcoming events . . .

View NC DNCR Upcoming Events Calendar

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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