Cowan Museum of History and Science

Coming Soon!

The Stanford School

The Stanford School, an African American school that was built ca. 1912 during segregation, will be moved onto the museum grounds and rennovated as a “green” building. The space will be used as a classroom for STEM activities involving modern Duplin County agriculture, as well as a changing exhibit space devoted to the history of the Stanford School and the community that used it.

Detail from our schoolhouse

General Store / Post Office

Additionally onsite is the 19th century general store and Natural Wells Post Office donated by the Stephen Boone family. It was once operated by James C. Boone in west Duplin County and used until 1905.

Log Cabin

We also have a furnished 19th century one-room log cabin, donated by Dr. Dallas Herring.


Our 19th century smokehouse (a building used to cure meat or fish with smoke) was donated by the Abe Blanton family.

Tobacco Barn

The tobacco barn, a type of functionally classified barn found in the United States, was once an essential component in the process of air-curing tobacco. Built in 1925, our tobacco barn was used until 1978. Donated by the Grover Rhodes family.

Blacksmith Shop

The Museum's blacksmith shop is a reproduction and was built on the grounds in the 1990s. It represents what was a necessary structure for many old farm home sites.


Originally a corn crib, onsite is a mid-19th century building now used as the Museum’s schoolhouse. It was made of hand-hewed timbers chinked together and is representative of many one-room schoolhouses that were used in Duplin County. Donated by the Bill Jones family.