Victorian Tea

(Joint Program with  Liberty Hall Restoration)

Saturday, August 27, 2016 at 3:00 p.m.

Old Rocks, Young Minds


Earth’s 4.6-billion-year geological and biological history is deduced from the analysis of rocks, minerals, and fossils found throughout the world. The layered evidence can be read almost like pages in a book when one understands the different types of rocks and how they form and continually change. Rocks and minerals have fascinating stories to tell about the processes that have shaped our earth throughout its history. And fossils tell stories of life in ancient oceans and tropical seas, primeval swamps and tidal flats, prehistoric meandering rivers and wind-blown sand dunes - all of which come to life as we unlock the secrets preserved in stone.

From Seedling to Celebration:

Christmas Tree Farming in North Carolina

November 25, 2014 - January 6, 2015

The exhibit covers topics such as the history of the Christmas tree in the United States, Christmas tree farms in North Carolina, as well as cultural aspects. Included in the display is a Christmas village that had belonged to Dr. Alice T. M. Rechlin Perkins, the first woman given the title of "Geographer" at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C.

Past Exhibits:

Current Exhibits:

Cowan Museum of History and Science

Haunted Museum

October 31, 2015, 6-8:00 p.m.

We also have new displays, including "Simple Machines" and "caring for People: Medicine, Remedies, Equipment and Devices."

Railroads and Firefighting:

An Intern Exhibit by mary Boone

February 13, 2015 - August 28, 2015

Nano Night

May 9, 2015, 5-7 p.m.

Nano Mini-Exhibition

May 7, 2015 - August 2, 2015

"Nano" is an interactive exhibition that engages family audiences in nanoscale science, engineering, and technology. Hands-on exhibits present the basics of nanoscience and engineering, introduce some real world applications, and explore the societal and ethical implications of this new technology. The display contains text in English, Spanish, and has braille labels.

The exhibit was created by the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Network), with support from the National Science Foundation, and is on loan from the North Carolina Grassroots Science Museums Collaborative.

In Focus

February 15, 2014 - August 1, 2014

"In Focus" includes an assortment of the Museum's cameras, a selection of photographs from the collection, and other equipment, such as a ca. 1890 stereoscope and a 1953 opaque projector.

Turbulent Tornadoes

(Joint Program with Duplin County Library)

Sat., Oct. 29, 2016, 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. at the Kenansville Library.

Join Robin Grotke from the Cowan Museum to learn some tornado trivia, interact with a "real" tornado, and build a tornado to take home. For ages 6-12. Registration is required.

Sound and Music

Developed by students from the Duplin Early College High School. For a description, click HERE.

OPEN on Sunday

November 29, 2015, 2:00 P.M. - 6:00 p.m.

The Kenansville-Duplin County Chamber of Commerce and other organizations  are sponsoring "Be thankful - Celebrate Christmas in Historic Kenansville" festivities on Sunday, November 29, 2015, which will start at 2:00 pm. Downtown events will continue until 6:00 pm. At 6:30 pm, the Town of Kenansville's annual Christmas Tree Lighting will take place at Kenan Park, the 400 block of S. Main Street. The museum will take part in the event and will be open from 2-6 pm.

Recent Programs:


Winter Festival

February 13, 2015, 6-8 p.m.​

Creative North Carolina

May 16, 2014 - November 8, 2014

From earliest times, the urge to create has been a trait common to all humankind. Many of the pieces in this exhibit of contemporary North Carolina artists have creative roots that extend far into the past and to the earliest peoples and cultures of North Carolina. Thousands of years ago in this area of the country, Native Americans were making pine needle baskets, waterfowl decoys, and pottery from the rich clay deposits. Hundreds of years ago, African slaves brought their own ancient influences to the arts of basketry and pottery, including the face jugs; and early European settlers along the coast began creating their own versions of decoys. The creative impulse is very strong and modern day North Carolina artists, such as those whose work is featured here, continue to find means of expression, influenced by the environment and by the tapestry of history and culture that continues to fashion life in North Carolina.