Stagville State Historic Site, 5828 Old Oxford Highway in Durham, contains the remnants of one of the largest plantations of the pre-Civil War South. The plantation belonged to the Bennehan-Cameron family, whose combined holdings totaled approximately 900 enslaved people and almost 30,000 acres of land by 1860.
Stagville offers a view of the past, especially that of its African American community, by allowing visitors to guide themselves around its extensive grounds.
It is free to visit Stagville State Historic Site. There are also many free and inexpensive events throughout the year.
Independence Day Celebration
July 5th, 2019
Frederick Douglass Community Reading: Commemorate Independence Day with a community reading of Frederick Douglass’ powerful Fourth of July address, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July.” This is a participatory event, open to people of all ages! We will provide copies of the speech to all attendees, and read it out loud together as a community. FREE.
Women of Stagville Tour
Saturday, July 13th, 2019
11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
$5 (must purchase in advance; see above link)
Hear stories of enslaved women from Stagville, featuring their families, work, and resistance on one of the largest plantations in North Carolina. This tour features individual stories about Mary, Phebe, Emma, and other enslaved women, pieced together from oral history and archival sources.
These stories include violence and abuse, so these tours not ideal for young children. Tours will last approximately 1 hour. The tour will include walking and standing, both indoors and outdoors, including over uneven or wet ground.
Space is limited, and you must purchase a $5 tickets in advance. Tickets will not be refunded within 24 hours of event, or in the case of inclement weather, unless the event is canceled. If this event is sold out online, there will be no additional ticket sales at the door.
Stagville Under the Stars
August 23rd, 2019
8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Join Historic Stagville and Morehead Planetarium for Stagville Under the Stars! Storytelling, science, and stargazing, all in one evening.
Hear African folktales about the sun, moon, and stars, and then peer through telescopes to take a tour of the stars. This event is perfect for kids and families. We will meet in the Visitor Center at Historic Stagville and then head outside to use telescopes on the grounds after dark. This is a popular event, so come early to be sure you don’t miss any stories!
This event is FREE and open to the public. We recommend you wear sturdy shoes and dress for the weather. This event includes walking and standing over gravel and uneven ground in low light.
Harvest Home School Day
October 18th, 2019
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Historic Stagville invites all home school students to a day of hands-on educational activities for all ages. Students will get to participate in these activities, not just watch. Plus, all of our historic structures will be open to tour all day. Students learn about the history of slavery in North Carolina, the lives and cultures of enslaved people, and work and trades on an antebellum plantation.
On the schedule for this fall:
— Archaeology lessons
— Freedom Roads walks, featuring Underground Railroad history from North Carolina
— Hearth cooking demonstrations
— Crosscut saw and woodworking activities
— 19th century brickmaking
— 19th century pigments and paints
Activities run all throughout the day, but we recommend you arrive by 2 p.m. to experience ALL possible activities.Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting a little dirty, and sturdy walking shoes to get around our large site. We have picnic tables on the site for picnic lunches, but no food for sale on site.
Admission is $5.87 (including taxes and fees) per student, and tickets will not be refunded starting 24 hours before the event. Additional tickets can be purchased at the door with cash or check only.
Harvest Forage Feast
Saturday, October 19th, 2019
12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Visit Stagville on October 19th to explore the history of food, cooking, and foraging for enslaved people on one of the state’s largest plantations. The slave dwellings at Horton Grove will feature hands-on activities for all ages about the history of food preservation, foraging, and cooking at Stagville.
Food was used in many different ways by slaveholders, overseers, enslaved people, and freed people. Enslaved people were forced to labor to produce grains, meats, fruits, and vegetables on Stagville’s land, yet it was their expertise that made and preserved such foods. Rationing and food restrictions were part of the plantation control system, and yet enslaved people used food to resist slavery by preserving African and African American cultural traditions. The foodways of enslaved people and their descendants shape North Carolina’s culture to this day– join us on October 19th to explore more of this history.
Stagville welcomes back Dontavius Williams of The Chronicles of Adam, to lead cooking demonstrations featuring historical African American foodways traditions.
Thanksgiving Family Day
Saturday, November 30th, 2019
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Visit Stagville over the Thanksgiving weekend to explore the history of one of the largest plantations in North Carolina. Stagville’s historic structures will be open to explore from 10 am to 4 pm, with hands-on activities for families. Join us for tours of the buildings featuring stories of African American families at Stagville.
Saturday, December 7th, 2019
4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Celebrate Jonkonnu, a remarkable African American holiday tradition, with Historic Stagville and St Sya Academy!
**Tickets go on sale on November 1st.**
A troupe of local musicians and St Sya students will perform at Horton Grove to honor Jonkonnu, a masquerade celebration with roots in West Africa and the Caribbean. Stagville is one of the only sites in North America with documentation of Jonkonnu. Today, Jonkonnu at Stagville celebrates the spirit of resistance and resilience of enslaved people.
After the performance, take a lamplight tour of the historic slave dwellings and learn more about the meanings of Christmas during slavery.
Tickets are $5 per person; ages five and under are free.