New Bern, North Carolina

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New Bern, North Carolina
City
New Bern City Hall

Flag
Location of New Bern, North Carolina
Coordinates: 35°6′33″N 77°4′9″W / 35.10917°N 77.06917°W / 35.10917; -77.06917Coordinates: 35°6′33″N 77°4′9″W / 35.10917°N 77.06917°W / 35.10917; -77.06917
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
CountyCraven
Government
 • MayorLee Bettis
Area
 • Total27.0 sq mi (69.9 km2)
 • Land25.8 sq mi (66.9 km2)
 • Water1.2 sq mi (3.0 km2)
Elevation30 ft (3 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total29,524
 • Density895.5/sq mi (345.7/km2)
Time zoneEastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes28560-28564
Area code(s)252
FIPS code37-46340[1]
GNIS feature ID1013911[2]
Websitewww.newbern-nc.org
 
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New Bern, North Carolina
City
New Bern City Hall

Flag
Location of New Bern, North Carolina
Coordinates: 35°6′33″N 77°4′9″W / 35.10917°N 77.06917°W / 35.10917; -77.06917Coordinates: 35°6′33″N 77°4′9″W / 35.10917°N 77.06917°W / 35.10917; -77.06917
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
CountyCraven
Government
 • MayorLee Bettis
Area
 • Total27.0 sq mi (69.9 km2)
 • Land25.8 sq mi (66.9 km2)
 • Water1.2 sq mi (3.0 km2)
Elevation30 ft (3 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total29,524
 • Density895.5/sq mi (345.7/km2)
Time zoneEastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes28560-28564
Area code(s)252
FIPS code37-46340[1]
GNIS feature ID1013911[2]
Websitewww.newbern-nc.org

New Bern /ˈnjuːbərn/ is a city in Craven County, North Carolina with a population of 29,524 as of the 2010 census.[3] It is located at the confluence of the Trent and the Neuse rivers. It lies 112 mi (180 km) east of Raleigh and 87 mi (140 km) northeast of Wilmington.

Formerly an Indian town named Chattoka, New Bern was settled in 1710 by Swiss immigrants who named it after Bern, the capital of Switzerland. The Swiss connection with England was established by Marian exiles who went to the country. There were also marriages between the Royal House of Stuart and notable people in the history of Calvinism.

New Bern is the second oldest town in North Carolina (after Bath).[citation needed] It served as the capital of the North Carolina colonial government, then briefly as the state capital. After the American Revolution, New Bern became wealthy and quickly developed a rich cultural life. At one time New Bern was called "the Athens of the South,"[citation needed] renowned for its Masonic Temple and Athens Theater, both still very active today.

New Bern is the county seat of Craven County and the principal city of the New Bern Micropolitan Statistical Area.

New Bern is the birthplace of Pepsi Cola.

New Bern has four National Register historic districts, with homes, stores and churches dating back to the early eighteenth century. Within easy walking distance of the waterfront are more than 164 homes and buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Also nearby are several bed and breakfasts, hotels, restaurants, banks, antiques stores and specialty shops. The historic districts are the site of many of the town's 2,000 crape myrtles — its official flower — and developed gardens. New Bern has two "Local Historic Districts," a municipal zoning overlay that affords legal protection from alteration to the exteriors of New Bern's irreplaceable historic structures. These areas are responsible for much of New Bern's charm, appeal to retirees, and economic success. The Local Historic Districts, while vitally important to New Bern, comprise only 2.43% of New Bern's 27-square-mile area, leaving ample area for development unrestricted by historic district guidelines. The Downtown Local Historic District is 368.64 acres or 0.576 sq. mi.; the Riverside Local Historic District covers 51.94 acres or .081 sq. mi.

Union Point park borders both the Neuse and Trent rivers. It is the site of the city's major celebrations, such as Neuse River Days and the Fourth of July. Since 1979 the Swiss Bear Downtown Revitalization Corporation has worked to redevelop downtown and stimulated the creation of art galleries, specialty shops, antiques stores, restaurants and inns. This area has become a social and cultural hub. James Reed Lane is a downtown mini-park and pedestrian walk-through on Pollock Street across from historic Christ Church. Private restoration efforts have returned many of the downtown buildings to their turn-of-the-twentieth-century elegance.

Nicholas Sparks set his novel, The Notebook, in the city. In 2005, a segment of NBC's The Today Show noted that New Bern was one of the best places in the United States to retire. Retirees from the northern states have added to its population.

History[edit]

Historical marker designating New Bern

Varying complex cultures of indigenous peoples had lived along the waterways of North Carolina for thousands of years before Europeans explored the area. New Bern was first settled by Europeans in 1710 by Swiss and German immigrants[4] under the leadership of Christoph de Graffenried, Franz Louis Michel[5][6] and John Lawson. It was named after the capital of Switzerland, Bern. The first permanent seat of the colonial government of North Carolina was located in New Bern. Following the American Revolutionary War, New Bern became the first state capital. Christoph von Graffenried ordered that the layout of the town was made into the shape of a cross, although the town is not in the shape today due to growth of the town and towns surrounding it.

Reconstructed Tryon Palace in 2008
View of New Bern in 1864

Tryon Palace was completed in 1770 as the British colonial government house. After the Revolution, it was used as the first state capitol of newly independent North Carolina. The Palace burned in the 1790s. A modern reconstruction, built from the original plans and on the original foundation, is a historic site and tourist attraction. During the 19th-century Federal period, New Bern was the largest city in North Carolina.[7]

After Raleigh was named as the state capital, New Bern rebuilt its economy by expanding on trade via shipping routes to the Caribbean and New England.[7] It reached a population of 3,600 in 1815.[7]

In 1862 during the early stages of the American Civil War, New Bern was the site of the Battle of New Bern. The town was captured and occupied by Union forces until the end of the war in 1865. As nearly ten thousand slaves escaped and went to the Union camps for protection and freedom, the Union Army set up the Trent River contraband camp to house the refugees and organize the adults for work. Missionaries started classes to teach adults and children literacy.

Beginning in 1863, a total of nearly 4,000 freedmen from North Carolina enlisted in the United States Colored Troops to fight with the Union for their permanent freedom, including 150 men from the Freedmen's Colony on Roanoke Island.[8] After the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln, slaves in Union-occupied territories were declared free; more freedmen came to the Trent River camp for protection. The Army appointed Horace James, a Congregational chaplain from Massachusetts, as the "Superintendent of Negro Affairs for the North Carolina District."[8] In addition to the Trent River camp, James supervised development of the offshore Roanoke Island Freedmen's Colony, which was intended to be self-supporting.[9]

Due to the continuous occupation by the Union troops, New Bern avoided some of the destruction of the war years. It recovered more quickly than many cities after the war. By the 1870s the lumber industry was quickly becoming New Bern's major source of revenue. Timber harvested could be sent downriver by the two nearby rivers. The city continued to be a center for freedmen and by 1877 had a majority-black population.

The state legislature defined the city and count as part of North Carolina's 2nd congressional district, which elected four African Americans to the US Congress in the late 19th century. The state's passage of its new constitution in 1899 essentially disfranchised black citizens. They were totally closed out of the political process and participation on juries and in office, a situation that persisted until after passage of federal civil rights legislation in the mid-1960s.

By 1890 New Bern had become the largest lumber center in North Carolina and one of the largest in all of the South. During this time, as many as 16 lumber mills were running and employing hundreds of men from New Bern and the area. The competitive nature of the lumber barons, the abundance of lumber and craftsmen, led to the construction in New Bern of some of the finest homes in the South, many of which have survived. The lumber boom lasted until the 1920s. One by one the lumber mills went out of business. Today only Weyerhaeuser manufactures lumber in the area.

Geography[edit]

New Bern is located at 35°6′33″N 77°4′9″W / 35.10917°N 77.06917°W / 35.10917; -77.06917 (35.109070, −77.069111)[10].

New Bern is located in North Carolina's Inner Banks region. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 27.0 square miles (69.9 km²), of which, 25.8 square miles (66.9 km²) of it is land and 1.2 square miles (3.0 km²) of it (4.30%) is water.

Climate[edit]

New Bern experiences a humid subtropical climate typical of the Atlantic coastal plain. Summers are hot and humid, with frequent afternoon thunderstorms that account for much of the higher summer precipitation. Spring and fall are generally mild, with fall foliage occurring from late October to early November. Winters relatively mild and dryer than the remainder of the year, with infrequent snowfall.

Climate data for New Bern, North Carolina
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °F (°C)81
(27)
88
(31)
90
(32)
95
(35)
100
(38)
105
(41)
106
(41)
103
(39)
101
(38)
97
(36)
87
(31)
83
(28)
106
(41)
Average high °F (°C)54
(12)
57
(14)
64
(18)
72
(22)
79
(26)
85
(29)
88
(31)
87
(31)
83
(28)
74
(23)
66
(19)
58
(14)
72.3
(22.3)
Average low °F (°C)34
(1)
36
(2)
42
(6)
50
(10)
59
(15)
67
(19)
71
(22)
70
(21)
65
(18)
53
(12)
44
(7)
36
(2)
52.3
(11.3)
Record low °F (°C)1
(−17)
6
(−14)
17
(−8)
29
(−2)
32
(0)
44
(7)
55
(13)
50
(10)
43
(6)
26
(−3)
17
(−8)
−4
(−20)
−4
(−20)
Rainfall inches (mm)4.77
(121.2)
3.80
(96.5)
4.49
(114)
3.40
(86.4)
4.19
(106.4)
4.80
(121.9)
6.48
(164.6)
6.84
(173.7)
5.45
(138.4)
3.39
(86.1)
3.23
(82)
3.84
(97.5)
54.68
(1,388.9)
Snowfall inches (cm)1.0
(2.5)
0.8
(2)
0.5
(1.3)
0.1
(0.3)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.1
(0.3)
0.2
(0.5)
2.7
(6.9)
Source: Weatherbase and National Weather Service[11][12]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
YearPop.  ±%  
18002,467—    
18203,663+48.5%
18303,796+3.6%
18403,690−2.8%
18504,681+26.9%
18605,432+16.0%
18705,849+7.7%
18806,443+10.2%
18907,843+21.7%
19009,090+15.9%
19109,961+9.6%
192012,198+22.5%
193011,981−1.8%
194011,815−1.4%
195015,812+33.8%
196015,717−0.6%
197014,660−6.7%
198014,557−0.7%
199017,363+19.3%
200023,128+33.2%
Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. 

According to New Bern city Census 2010 results, the population of the area was approximately 29,524 people. From 2000 to 2010, the New Bern city population growth percentage was 27.7% (or from 23,128 people to 29,524 people). 22.8% of the New Bern city residents were under 18 years of age. Census 2010 race data for New Bern city include the racial breakdown percentages of 57.0 white 32.8% black, 3.6% Asian and 5.8% Hispanic and less than 1% Native American, Also, there were 14,471 housing units in New Bern city, 88.2% of which were occupied housing units.

From the 2000 census there were 10,006 households out of which 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.5% were married couples living together, 18.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.2% were non-families. 33.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.85.

In the year 2000, the city the population was spread out with 23.9% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 27.0% from 25 to 44, 22.8% from 45 to 64, and 17.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 83.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city in 2000 was $29,139, and the median income for a family was $38,990. Males had a median income of $28,720 versus $21,687 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,499. About 14.7% of families and 19.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.4% of those under age 18 and 14.1% of those age 65 or over.

Education[edit]

Colleges[edit]

High schools[edit]

Middle schools[edit]

Elementary schools[edit]

Private schools[edit]

Radio Stations[edit]

Notable people[edit]

Title page of the 1702 Journal of Franz Ludwig Michel of Bern, Switzerland, a founder of New Bern, North Carolina

References[edit]

  1. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "New Bern, North Carolina (NC) Detailed Profile". City-data.com. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  4. ^ Bishir, Catherine (2005). North Carolina Architecture. UNC Press. p. 2. 
  5. ^ "Wilhelmsburg, Colonial Williamsburg, Robert A. Selig, The Potomac Appalachian Trail Club History". Patc.us. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  6. ^ Vincent H. Todd (1920). Christoph Von Graffenried's Account of the Founding of New Bern. Edwards & Broughton Printing Co., Raleigh, North Carolina. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  7. ^ a b c Bishir, Catherine (2005). North Carolina Architecture. UNC Press. p. 84. 
  8. ^ a b "The Roanoke Island Freedmen's Colony", provided by National Park Service, at North Carolina Digital History: LEARN NC, accessed 11 November 2010
  9. ^ Click, Patricia C. "The Roanoke Island Freedmen's Colony", The Roanoke Island Freedmen's Colony Website, 2001, accessed 9 Nov. 2010
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  11. ^ "National Weather Service". National Weather Service. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  12. ^ "Weaher Channel: Historical Weather for New Bern, NC". Weatherbase. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  13. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607–1896. Marquis Who's Who. 1963. 
  14. ^ Fitzgerald, Eddie (2012-12-26). "Ella Bengel, New Bern's first woman mayor, dies". Sun Journal (New Bern). Retrieved 2013-01-09. 
  15. ^ "Donna Hutchinson". ballotpedia.org. Retrieved August 17, 2013. 

External links[edit]