The Lord gave us a great day today as our Primetimer group travelled about an hour South on I-95 to Fayetteville and the Airborne & Special Operations Museum.
A part of the U.S. Army Museum System, the museum tells the story of Army airborne and special operations units from their 1940 origin and movement to the Fayetteville area in March of 1942, through the present. The 59,000 square-foot, 22.5 million dollar museum houses many rare and impressive artifacts, including a C-47 “Skytrain” airplane suspended from the ceiling, complete with a paratrooper in the door. A fully restored CG-4A glider, one of only a handful that remain from WWII, is on display, along with two helicopters, a Sheridan tank, and a complete collection of uniforms, equipment and weapons spanning the sixty-year history of this exciting segment of the armed forces.
While the exhibit gallery provides a picture of the origins and progression of airborne and special operations training and warfare, the museum’s movie and motion simulator give visitors an up-close look at what the Army’s finest are capable of today. Narrated by Benjamin Franklin, the exclusive movie Descending from the Clouds is a larger than life depiction of modern airborne units in training. For those who need to be in on the action, a ride on the Pitch, Roll & Yaw Motion Simulator lets the visitor “ride along” as special operations soldiers jump, ski, ride and fly through high-speed training.
We enjoyed a delicious lunch at K&W Cafeteria and then made our way back to the Fayetteville Historic District. We visited the Museum of the Cape Fear Complex.
One of three regional branches of the North Carolina Museum of History, the Museum of the Cape Fear opened in 1988. It serves twenty counties in southern North Carolina and features exhibits that reflect the history of the region. The twofold purpose of the museum is to collect, preserve and interpret the history and culture of southern North Carolina and, second, to provide technical assistance and consultative services to non-state historical museums in its region of responsibility.
The permanent galleries include chronological exhibits beginning with the region’s native Americans and culminating with an early twentieth century general store. Interspersed are topical exhibits focusing on the naval stores industry, early nineteenth century domestic life, transportation and the traditions of folk potters. Additionally, changing exhibits are featured in the special exhibits gallery.
We also visited the Poe House, home of Edgar Allen Poe (not the same as the writer). On August 10, 1896, Lot #2 of the former U.S. Arsenal was deeded to Josephine Poe, wife of Edgar Allen Poe. This was the land on which E.A. Poe began construction of his two-story frame house, along with a barn, woodhouse, smokehouse and wellhouse in 1897. Poe, a successful businessman, politician and civic leader, was one of several person to settle in the Haymount area at the turn of the century.
Built by Ruffin Vaughn, the Poe House exhibits rare Eastlake detailing. Other architecturally significant elements of the house include the entrance bay, a wrap-around porch, exterior sawnwork, tongue-and-groove wainscoting and bullseye molding throughout the interior. The house is owned by the Museum of the Cape Fear. Following its recent restoration, it serves as a historic house museum interpreting late nineteenth and early twentieth century social, cultural and family history.
We had a wonderful time together. We’re looking forward to future trips. Check out our calendar for information on future activities.