Founded in 1710 by Baron Christopher de Graffenried of Bern, Switzerland, New Bern is the second oldest town in North Carolina and the first state capital.
A big fire during the Civil War burned a number of homes in what is the historic downtown. Since the town of New Bern was occupied very early in the war by the "Federals" (Union Army forces), many of the old houses were saved. When the residents returned to town after the war, many of their homes were occupied by freedmen and squatters, and it took many years for the ravages of the war to disappear. The First Presbyterian Church, however, had been used as a Union hospital during the war and had sustained significant damage during the Battle of New Bern and its subsequent medical use.
Pepsi Cola was invented in New Bern in 1898. It was originally called "Brad's Drink" after Caleb Bradham, the pharmacist who invented it.
This is the Harvey Mansion Historic Inn and Restaurant. It was located directly across the street from our hotel. I have to tell you that we enjoyed one of the best meals ever!! I've never had Lobster Bisque before, but it was so delicious, I could have licked the plate :-) A very worthwhile place to stop if you are ever in the area.
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