Cowan Museum of History and Science

We are happy to be a part of Blue Star Museums, which is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across the United States to offer free admission to the country’s service members and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day.


The Cowan Museum of History and Science was founded in 1981 by George and Ila Cowan as a memorial to their daughter, Joann Cowan Brown. It is housed within the Kelly-Farrior House (ca. 1848) and has an adjacent historical park with 6 buildings, which include a log cabin, general store, and one-room schoolhouse.  Of the 4,300 objects in the collections, about 2,000 were donated to Duplin County by the Cowan family, with most focusing on 19th and 20th century tools and technology that document a history of innovation, resourcefulness, and creativity. Objects on display include a diversity of woodworking tools, agricultural implements, items used in a variety of crafts and trades, medical devices, many household artifacts, and an impressive collection of geological specimens. In addition, unique items may be encountered onsite, such as a tornado simulator, an alternative fuel fan, and a hog oiler.

The Cowan Museum of History and Science is a department of Duplin County.

Hours of Operation:


Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Closed Sunday & Monday, and major holiday weekends.

 ​​Please call to schedule a time for group tours, if more than 10 people. We ask that you give staff at least one day's notice. 

The main building can comfortably accommodate up to 15 people at a time. Children under 10 should be accompanied by an adult. 

Admission is FREE; Donations are appreciated; Bus parking is available; Wheelchair access to the first floor galleries of the Kelly-Farrior House is provided.