Pre-Conference Event – Durham Day Tour

January 28th, 2017 by National Genealogical Society Blog Editor

Experience the old South visiting historic Stagville Plantation, the Duke Homestead, and Bennett Place during the Durham Day Tour on Tuesday, 9 May 2017.

Durham is home to Stagville, one of the largest pre-Civil War plantations – nearly 30,000 acres and 900 slaves were held by the Bennehan–Cameron families by 1860. Tour the 18th century Bennehan House, several two-story slave homes on land called Horton Grove, and The Great Barn. Stagville left behind a physical and a historical legacy of the families who lived and worked the land, which can be accessed through the UNC Southern Historical Collection and the North Carolina State Archives.

Stagville Plantation: Horton-Grove slave quarters.

The Duke Homestead was home to Washington Duke who started the largest tobacco company in the nation. The American Tobacco Company started out as a barn-shop operation turned into one of the first tobacco processing factories in downtown Durham. During your visit, you’ll see some of the original structures in which Duke cured, processed, and packed tobacco. A reconstruction of the original log barn is also on the property. A visit to Durham is not complete without the Duke family.

Bennett Place was the site of the largest surrender of Confederate soldiers ending the American Civil War on April 26, 1865. Originally the farm of James and Nancy Bennett, the structures fell to ruin after James Bennett’s death in 1878 and the family’s relocation to Durham. Restored by local preservationists in 1960, visitors will see the reconstructed farmhouse, log kitchen, and smokehouse, as well as visit the museum and Civil War landmark.

The Unity Monument at Bennett Place

Sign up for the Durham Day Tour when you register for the NGS 2017 conference. If you are already registered, you may revisit your registration page and add events. The Durham Day Tour will last all day and costs $65 per person. The bus departs from and returns to the convention center. Lunch is on your own at Cracker Barrel.

 Photo credits (accessed 24 January 2017): Historic Stagville Foundation, “Historic Stagville Plantation, Durham, NC,” website,
The Unity Monument at Bennett Place, Bennett Place Support Fund, “The Bennett Place State Historic Site,” website,