Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tryon Palace (North Carolina’s First Capitol) - The Birthplace of Pepsi

(Havelock, NC) Hi 61 Lo 34 – Today Jim's mom drove up from Morehead City to join Jim, Judy and us for an afternoon in New Bern to visit Tryon Palace.

Tryon Palace was built between 1767 and 1770 by Royal Governor William Tryon. It was the first official capitol of North Carolina, and was one of the most talked about building in the American colonies. After the Revolutionary War the NC capital was moved from New Bern to Raleigh, and a fire destroyed the original Palace in 1798. In the late 1950’s it was rebuilt on the same foundation as the original, using the original architect’s drawings, and was furnished with period furniture and artifacts based on extensive documentation.

We started out visit at the North Carolina History Center, which has an introductory film and two museum galleries.


Inside, above the main entrance to the building is this very cool pendulum clock, which chimed while we were there.




We watched the film, but didn’t spend a whole lot of time in the museum. A complimentary shuttle took us about two blocks and dropped us off right in front of the Governor’s Palace.






We walked around the grounds, including the adjoining stable building and kitchen building, and the gardens behind the Palace.

The two Jim's, looking things over.


The mums were in full bloom.


Guided tours are scheduled every 30 minutes, so we walked around to the front door of the Palace to be greeted by our tour guide, Catherine.



She led our group on a very informative and interesting tour of the Palace. We weren’t allowed to take photos inside, which is unfortunate, because the rooms are pretty spectacular with their original furnishings. The tour lasted about 45 minutes, and gave us a good idea of what life was like in the 18th century.

The Tryon Palace complex includes three homes that date to the 18th and 19th centuries that also have guided tours. We toured one of them, the George W. Dixon House. It offered a glimpse into a more modest, middle class lifestyle in the 1800’s. Again, we weren’t allowed to take photos.

By the end of our second guided tour we were all getting a little worn out, so we skipped the tours of the other two homes. We took the shuttle back to the NC History Center, but before leaving we walked across the street to the Tryon Palace Seafood Shop and Restaurant. Dee picked out some fresh fish filets to take home, and we had a bit to eat in the restaurant. Between all of us we had crab bisque, oyster stew, steamed shrimp, an oyster sandwich, and fried shrimp and fries. And Dee had a delicacy we don’t see everywhere, a soft shell crab sandwich.

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Crabs can be “labor intensive” to eat, with very little meat for a lot of picking. But not soft shell crabs. With those, you eat the whole thing, body, legs, and all. So yummy! It’s too bad they’re usually so expensive ($7.50 for that one crab you see above). Especially since Jim's mom would sometimes fry up a whole platter full of them for our family meals. Ah, the benefits of coming from a fishing family. :)

We got back to the car, but before leaving New Bern we drove a couple of blocks to Bradham’s Pharmacy, the Birthplace of Pepsi Cola.



In this building Caleb Bradham invented Pepsi Cola in 1898 in his pharmacy. It’s now a gift shop, with an old time soda shop next door, naturally selling Pepsi products.



This is the original formula for Pepsi Cola, notice the "alcohol".



Judy got a Pepsi float and shared it with her hubby Jim.

We made our way back to Havelock and our RV park in time for mom to drive back to her home in Morehead City before dark. It was a fun day. Jim was born in Morehead City, and we’ve traveled through New Bern dozens of times when we lived in the Raleigh area. Yet this was our first time visiting Tryon Palace and the Birthplace of Pepsi Cola. Better late than never I guess. :)

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