GETTING TO KNOW US

The James City Historical Society Slave Quarters Committee
The James City Historical Society Slave Quarters Committee

From Left to Right: Ben Watford, Myrtle Downing, William Hollowell, Tyrone Fleshman, Grinda Fleshman, Terrence Hicks, Sylvester Sconyers

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From left to right: William Hollowell, Terrence Hicks, Ben Watford, Tyrone Fleshman

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Dr. Myrtle Downing & Dr. Grinda Fleshman
Dr. Myrtle Downing & Dr. Grinda Fleshman

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The James City Historical Society Slave Quarters Committee
The James City Historical Society Slave Quarters Committee

From Left to Right: Ben Watford, Myrtle Downing, William Hollowell, Tyrone Fleshman, Grinda Fleshman, Terrence Hicks, Sylvester Sconyers

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Our History | Our Purpose| Our Legacy 

The Crockett-Miller Slave Quarters in James city was built in the 1830s and housed more than 30 slaves. The building was originally part of a plantation located near where Carolina east hospital now stands in New Bern. In 1993 the James city historical society relocated the old slave quarters to a more secure location near the airport.

The use of the family name “Crockett” in association with the farm is based solely on local oral tradition. J.S. Miller is believed to have acquired the property in the 1930s, and he lived there until his death in 1954. His widow continued to occupy the Crockett-Miller House until shortly before her death in 1979. In addition to the main house and outbuildings such as a barn and smokehouse, the property included a slave quarter believed to have been built in the 1850-1860 eras, now known as the Crockett-Miller Slave Quarters. The original site of these structures is presently occupied by the Taco Bell fast-food restaurant, but it can still be recognized by its slight elevation and by the several old pecans, pine, and dogwood trees ringing the restaurant parking lot. Following Mrs. Miller’s death, the property was sold and the various structures on the site were donated to the New Bern Preservation Foundation.

 

In 1980 the slave quarters building was moved to the rear of 311 Johnson Street, while the other structures were moved elsewhere in New Bern.

Moving the Crockett-Miller Slave Quarters to the airport site and restoring it was a complicated and expensive undertaking! Many agencies and foundations contributed to the reconstruction project, the cost which was approximately $195,000.Until moved in 1980, the slave quarters had a brick chimney centrally placed between the two first floor rooms, with a separate fireplace serving each room. The loft rooms were unheated, the chimney stack having no fireplace at that level. Access to the loft or attic rooms is by an open, single-run ladder-like set of steps. As originally constructed, the building contained separate quarters for two families, with two separate entrances. The two first-floor rooms were divided by the chimney and flanking vertical-board partition walls.


The James City Historical Society conducts tours of the museum park, which includes the completely restored and reconstructed Crockett-Miller Slave Quarters. One side of the building currently houses old tools, while the other side displays photos and historical artifacts. The museum park also includes the monument commemorating all of the former slaves buried at the Far Cemetery and a functional outhouse complete with a box of corn shucks for personal needs. At Crockett Miller Slave Quarters, you will feel transformed as you step into a whole new world. Our private collection will completely revamp your knowledge in ways you never thought were possible. Since our launch in 2000, we have been dedicated to enriching the lives of all who visit our space.

 
 
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Tyrone Fleshamn, Chairman

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Ben Watford, Advisor & Chairman Emeritus  

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William Hollowell, Co-Chairman

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Terrence Hicks, New Membership Director 

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Dr. Myrtle Downing, Secretary 

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Sylvester Sconyers, Board Member

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Dr. Grinda Fleshman, Board Member

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David Herndon, Treasurer