By Jennifer Hudson Taylor
New Bern is the second oldest city in the state of NC dating back to 1710. It was founded by Baron de Graffenried from Bern, Switzerland. Of course, he named it after his beloved homeland. Bern means "bear" and as a result, you'll see images of bears all over the city on the lawns of many houses and outside many of the businesses. It gives the town a feeling of community, like everyone there is connected.
New Bern is nestled about 30-40 minutes from Atlantic Beach and on the peninsula of the Neuse and Trent Rivers. It provides a beautiful scenic view.
If you're looking for a great setting for a colonial story, this would make an excellent location. The town was very instrumental in history as it survived an Indian uprising in the early 18th century, was the capital of the British Province of NC, has over 150 buildings on the National Register Historic District, and has its own Governor's Palace, known as Tryon Palace.
Last spring I traveled to New Bern, NC for a book signing with authors, Michelle Buckman and Alice J. Weisler. We had a great time and while I was there, took a little tour of some of the historical sites. The photo above is of Tryon Palace. Governor William Tryon hired an architect from London to design and build the Georgian-style home and it was completed in 1770. The Tryon family only lived there for a year since he accepted the governorship of New York. Josiah Martin took his place as the second governor, but fled during the Revolutionary War in May of 1775. The Patriots took over the palace and made it their capitol. It served as the first place for our country's General Sessions.
In 1791, the palace hosted a lively ball in honor of President George Washington. In 1798 fire destroyed the original building and it was reconstructed over the next 30 years.To the right is an image of the beautiful gardens around the main building that covers 16 acres. They have an outdoor privy, a side kitchen, stables, and a beautiful estate.
Below is an image of the Neuse River from our hotel balcony. We didn't want to leave, and I'm thinking it would be a beautiful place to retire. A wonderful place to stir the imagination of an author....