Log Cabin

We also have a furnished reproduction of a 19th century log cabin, built by Dr. Dallas Herring, the "godfather" of the North Carolina Community College System, in the late 1930s. 

In May 2018, the log cabin's repairs and renovations were completed, thanks to a generous grant from the NC Science Museums Grant Program, through the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NC DNCR).


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

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.

Cowan Museum of History and Science

Joann Cowan Brown Native Plant Garden

Under development.

Designed by Lara Berkley of B+O Design Studio, PLLC, Wilmington, NC. Made possible by a grant from the NC Science Museums Grant Program, through the NC DNCR.

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 of Duplin County and used until 1905. The general store was also renovated and we invite visitors to sit down and play a game of checkers.

Ila's Kitchen Garden

Named for Ila Cowan, one of the founders of the Museum, our delightful garden is used for STEAMA programs. The public is welcome to pick our herbs and vegetables!

The garden was made possible by the NC Science Museums Grant Program, through the NC DNCR, the local NC Co-Opertaive Extension, and our beloved volunteers.