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Tryon Palace Historic Sites and Gardens: From Royal Colony to Tarheel State

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Tryon Palace Historic Sites and Gardens is the cornerstone of historic New Bern and the city's most famous building today, just as it was in the late 1700's. In the shadow of Tryon Palace, British rule flourished, revolution erupted, independence took root, and the new state of North Carolina was formed.

Study the history of Tryon Palace, the first colonial capital of North Carolina. Participants will begin by learning about the building itself, starting with its construction between 1767 and 1770 as a residence and meeting place for British Royal Governor William Tryon through the stormy reign of Josiah Martin, who was forced by patriots to flee the Palace in 1775.

Elderhosters will then get more in depth as they go behind the scenes with the museum conservator, head of gardens, head interpreter, and costumed craftspeople. They will learn how Tryon Palace archeologists recreated the buildings with historical accuracy after they burned to the ground. The palace conservator will lead elderhostelers in a hands-on demonstration of the scientific detective work behind refurnishing a historical building, and how period furniture is refinished and in some cases reacquired.

The head of the gardens will take elderhostelers on an exploration of 200 years of gardening history at the palace from formal ornamental gardens to wilderness areas to the kitchen garden. Road Scholars will also get a taste of the past as they work in the kitchen with costumed craftspeople to learn about 18th century cooking and prepare period foods.

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