Available programs:

We have been making preparations for educational programs that will be offered to preschool classes that visit the museum. The museum has been ordering and unpacking supplies that will be used in activities related to gardening, agriculture, weather, and more. Teachers bringing classes to the museum will be able to select from a menu of hands-on activities and investigations that teach children about plants, insects, soil, weather, the position of the sum in the sky, and seasons. The staff has noticed that Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies have been visiting their kitchen garden and recently a “giant monarch butterfly” visited the garden! Please call Anne Skinner for more information at (910) 296-2149.

The Bill of Rights and You

Through the Kenansville Area Development and Preservation Foundation, Inc., the Museum's  pop-up exhibit from the National Archives, The Bill of Rights and You, traveled around Duplin County to commemorate the 225th anniversary of the ratification of this landmark document.

The Bill of Rights and You explores the origins of the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution (collectively known as the Bill of Rights), illustrates how each amendment protects U.S. citizens, and looks at how Americans exercise the rights outlined in the amendments. 

Recent Events:

Recent Traveling Exhibit, The Way We Worked, through the Smithsonian Institution and the NC Humanities Council:

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.

Current Exhibits:

Duplin Agribusiness Fair, Oct. 17-20, 2018

From Seedling to Celebration:

Christmas Tree Farming in North Carolina

November 25, 2014 - January 6, 2015

Railroads and Firefighting:

An Intern Exhibit by mary Boone

February 13, 2015 - August 28, 2015

A few of our Past Exhibits:

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.

Sound and Music

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

Cowan Museum of History and Science

We also have  mini exhibits developed by local students, including "Simple Machines" and "Caring for People: Medicine, Remedies, Equipment and Devices."

Trick-or-treat at the museum

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

6:00 - 8:00 p.m. (FREE!)

Visit the Cowan Museum after-hours for Halloween candy. There may be a few scary things in our outbuildings, too!

Also Find us at Duplin County Library's
Trunk-or-Treat, October 30, 2018, 6:00 -8:00 p.m. (FREE!)

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.