Greater Fayetteville Stands Ready to Host Your Next Reunion
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Cumberland County, NC – What makes your family reunion so important? Does the saying, “The family is our refuge, our springboard, our link to the past, our bridge to the future,” ring a bell? At a time when families are pulled in many different directions, no occasion better honors your heritage and celebrates your strong family bonds than a family reunion. Greater Fayetteville, North Carolina, welcomes you and your family to reaffirm your heritage and strong family bonds in America’s Hometown.
The greater Fayetteville community embodies the American spirit – a place where “History, Heroes, and a Hometown Feeling” bestows a unique opportunity for all ages to come together and commemorate your family’s past, present, and future. We have even prepared a planning checklist and budget worksheet to help you along the way. Contact Sales Manager Jessica Bennett at 910-835-5091 to learn how the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau can help with your planning needs.
The bureau has prepared several sample itineraries that your family can utilize to explore the community while solidifying family ties. This sample itinerary provides a historical glimpse into the life of African Americans who resided in greater Fayetteville. Visit the Family Reunion Planning section of VisitFayettevilleNC.com for all itineraries and suggestions.
Stop One: The Sandhills Family Heritage Association provides tours where visitors can be immersed in real, one-of-a-kind African-American cultural experiences, as told by descendants of slaves and local community storytellers. Enjoyable tour activities include the Sandhills Farmers Market (Summer Saturdays only), tasting locally grown produce and baked goods, learning the importance of local herbs, viewing a replica of the Plank Road and a brush arbor, a captivating outdoor performance by the Sankofa Players, and tour of Bethel AME Zion Church in Spring Lake, NC.
Stop Two: The Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum exhibits contributions made by local African Americans. The museum also has staff oversight of Fayetteville’s historic districts and designated local landmark properties, many of which have strong ties to African American history. Maintained in the museum archives is the repository of historical information concerning local African Americans. Staff is available for directed research and tours of the facility and downtown Fayetteville.
Stop Three: Previously known as The State House, The Market House is where North Carolina ratified the U.S. Constitution in 1789 and chartered the University of North Carolina. In 1831, a fire destroyed downtown Fayetteville, including the State House, and The Market House was rebuilt on its site. As a marketplace, various peddlers sold cotton and other agricultural products here. In fact, one of the first meat merchants to sell his goods under the Market House, in 1832, was a free-born African American. Although not built as a slave market, slaves were sold here over the years until slavery was abolished in 1865. Historical debate also circles around the possibility that the structure was built by a local free black man, Thomas Grimes, one of the best brick masons in the area at the time.
Stop Four: The 1897 EA Poe House at the Museum of The Cape Fear Historical Complex features artifacts that help tell some of the African-American story. The lives of many are told collectively through the museum’s exhibits. A guided tour of the 1897 Poe House (part of the historical complex) discusses the roles of African-American women working as domestic servants at the turn of the 20th century. You’ll discover a bit of what life was like for African-Americans in the Jim Crow south. Walking the site of the remains of the U.S. Arsenal, you’ll walk the grounds where both free and enslaved African Americans labored to help construct a federal arsenal prior to the Civil War. Now known as Arsenal Park, the facility manufactured weapons and other Confederacy ordinance goods. In March 1865, Union troops fulfilled an order by General William Sherman to “batter, blast, and burn” the arsenal. Ruins of the building foundations and a modern steel semblance keep vigil for the lives associated with this historic site.
About Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (FACVB)
The FACVB is a private, not-for-profit organization responsible for positioning Cumberland County as a destination for conventions, sporting events and individual travel. For additional information, visit www.VisitFayettevilleNC.com or call 1-888-98-HEROES.