Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum

325 Franklin Street; (910) 433-1457; (910) 433-1458; (910) 433-1944
Museum Hours: Tues.-Sat. 10 am-4 pm; Closed Sun. and  Mon.



NEW-Trans-Museum_cmykThe Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum is the hub for history in Downtown Fayetteville. From the history enthusiast to families looking for fun, there is something for everyone here. The Historic Properties division operates the museum, Museum Annex, the North Carolina Veterans Park, and city owned historic sites to include the Market House. The museum has oversight of the two National Register Districts and Local Landmarks.

About the Museum

Located in the beautifully restored 1890 Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railroad Depot, the museum offers two floors of engaging, artifact-filled exhibits. The rich history of our area is told from pre-history through the early 20th century. Favorite spots in the museum include the model train room, steamboat interactive, and the recreated Station Agent’s Office.

Museum Annex 

Conveniently located next door to the museum, the annex continues Fayetteville’s story with automobiles and airplanes. Vintage cars, the recreated 1920s gas station, and Fayetteville’s 1880s Silsby Steam Pump Engine are a delight. Exhibit topics also include local law enforcement and fire department history, farm life, and the early years of Fort Bragg and Pope Army Air Field.


The Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum is a wonderful educational resource of the City of Fayetteville. In addition to a self-guided experience, we offer guided tours for schools, home school groups, scouts, churches, civic groups, military units, and more. Tours are free and can be adapted to suit the needs of a wide range of ages and educational objectives.

Tours of the Museum and Annex

Let staff lead the way through our exhibits. Our tours emphasize transportation and local history using a
“now and then” approach to make the past relevant.

Downtown Walking Tours

Discover the history of local landmarks and walk in the footsteps of historically significant personalities with a tour of Fayetteville’s Downtown Historic District. Your customized tour may include a visit to the Market House, the Fayetteville Light Infantry Museum and Armory, one of a number of historic churches, Liberty Point, Cool Spring Tavern, and Cross Creek Cemetery.

Preschool Special Emphasis Tours

We offer themed experiences for visitor’s ages 3 to 5. Each program includes a sing-along, story time and exploration of specific artifacts in the museum and annex.

Local Government Program

Step inside City Hall to learn more about our local government. Held inside City Council Chambers, this
experience highlights the role of local government and how it operates. Students can role-play various positions in the Council Chambers.

Local History Talks

Need a speaker for your upcoming program or event? Staff at the museum offer presentations on a variety of local history topics to organizations and groups in the community. Whether it is military heritage, historic preservation, or anything related to Fayetteville or Cumberland County’s history, we can help make your program a historical success.

Volunteer Opportunities

Many people enjoy visiting the Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum. Did you know that you can expand your experience by becoming a volunteer? At the museum there are a number of opportunities from greeting visitors, to assisting with our collections, to helping with our exhibits. Expand your knowledge of local history and the museum’s reach into the community. Help us let the history of Fayetteville and Cumberland County shine.
For more information or to schedule a tour or program call 433-1457, 433-1458 or 433-1944. We open early for groups and experiences can be shortened, lengthened, or tailored to meet your group’s needs.


There is always something special to see and do at the museum so stop by often. You can also learn about museum happenings on the Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks and Recreation website: www.fcpr.us or our museum’s Facebook page. Admission to programs and exhibits is free unless otherwise noted.

City Market at the Museum

CityMarketA market for local farmers and crafters is hosted on the grounds of the museum every Wed. and Sat. Fresh, locally grown vegetables, fruits, eggs, honey, and other farm products are offered for sale. These seasonal offerings along with plants, flowers, pottery, tea, soap, candles, jewelry and other handcrafted products can be purchased. The market season runs from April through Dec. but a number of vendors appear year-round.
All ages; Wed.; 1-5 pm; Sat.; 9 am-1 pm; Free

Market House Open House

The holiday shopping season is well underway! Take a break with museum staff in the Market House for an exhibit on historic shops in Downtown Fayetteville. Nostalgic Christmas ads as well as department store artifacts and images capture the season’s hustle and bustle of the early to mid-20th Century.
All ages; Fri., Dec. 9; noon-4 pm; Free

Historic Churches Bus Tour

Be inspired this holiday season as you travel with museum staff through various National Register churches in the downtown area. Beautiful stained glass, woodwork and Advent adornments help tell the history of a variety of religions in Fayetteville. Participants will travel via bus but tours may require moderate walking. The tour has a fee of $3. Registration required. Space is limited. For more information or to register, call the museum.
10+; Mon., Dec. 19; 9 am-noon; $3/person

Preschooler & Parent Day at the Museum

This is a special day for Fayetteville’s littlest historians to bring their families to the museum for a morning of fun. With an open house format, activities include stories, a safety film and hands-on crafts perfect for visitors ages 3 to 5. This event is not open for large groups. Preschools and Child Development Centers should schedule a group tour that offers similar activities.
3-5 yrs; Tues., Jan. 24; 9 am to noon; Free

African-American Heritage Bus Tour

Travel through the downtown landscape noting the distinct contributions of African-Americans to this community. The tour will visit a number of sites including Brookside Cemetery, E. E. Smith’s house, the Fayetteville Light Infantry Parade Ground. Professor Charles Anderson of Methodist University will lead the tour. Participants will travel via bus but the tour does involve some walking. The tour has a fee of $3. Registration required. Space is limited. For more information or to register, call the museum.
10+; Mon., Feb. 6; 9 am-noon; $3/person

Local History at the Library

The museum and the Cumberland County Public Library and Information Center are teaming up to bring you a host of local history presentations. Both the museum and the library are valuable educational resources for the community and this collaboration is one that will benefit a variety of ages and interest levels. These presentations will take place at the Headquarters Library located at 300 Maiden Lane in Downtown Fayetteville. Presentation topic and dates are:

Frances Benjamin Johnston and the Carnegie Survey of Architecture of the South

All Ages; Thurs., Jan. 12; 7 pm; State and Local History Room of the Headquarters Library; Free

The Naval Defense of North Carolina’s Coast during the War of 1812

All Ages; Thurs., Feb. 9; 7 pm; State and Local History Room of the Headquarters Library; Free

4th Fridays at the Market House Museum

The Market House, which is Cumberland County’s only National Historic Landmark, is open to the public on 4th Fridays from 6-10 pm. Explore the exhibit A View from the Square: A History of Downtown Fayetteville. In addition to the permanent exhibit, view a different local history exhibit
each month.
All ages; 4th Fri. of each month; 6-10 pm; Free
Special exhibits for this season are:
Dec. 23: No 4th Friday or Market House Exhibit
Jan. 26: Historic Images of Downtown Fayetteville
Feb. 23: History of Fayetteville State University

Cruise-In for 4th Fridays at the Museum

Experience a “night at the museum” every 4th Friday. Come explore our exhibits inside and some of the coolest cars around outside on the museum grounds. Car clubs and individual enthusiasts are welcome to make a pit stop at the museum and enjoy 4th Friday fun. The museum often hosts additional special activities. Won’t you cruise-in for an evening visit?
All ages; 4th Fri. of each month; 6-10 pm; Free


The museum features a number of exhibits to highlight specific people, events and places that impacted Fayetteville and Cumberland County. We encourage you to visit us often, as there is always something new to see and learn about the history of our area. Exhibit galleries are open Tuesday through Saturday 10 am to 4 pm.

History of Fayetteville State University (New Exhibit)

2017 marks the 150th Anniversary of what is now Fayetteville State University. This exhibit will open
Feb. 1, 2017. With the distinction of being the second state supported school in North Carolina and the first statesponsored institution for the education of African-American teachers in the South, there is so much history for visitors to learn. From the early founders, various locations, growth, accolades and achievements of this historically black college, it is easy to see why our community has so much
Bronco pride!
All ages; Opening Wed., Feb. 1; During museum hours; Free

Punitive Expedition (Exhibit Closes mid-January)

In the summer of 1916, a unit from Fayetteville deployed to the US border with Mexico. This year marks the centennial of this conflict, also known as the Border Dispute of 1916. Learn about the successes and struggles of the expedition, desert life at Camp Stewart and meet some of the men who served and deployed a year later in World War I.
All ages; During museum hours; Free

Edward Evans (Exhibit Closes mid-January)

Remembered by many as the long serving principal of the Orange Street School, Edward Evans was an influential African-American educator in Fayetteville in the early 20th Century. His wife, Sallie Evans was also an educator and both were active in their church and community. Learn more about this incredible and influential couple, their family and their efforts toward improving lives and making Fayetteville strong. This exhibit is a chance to learn more about the education history of our community.
All ages; During museum hours; Free

Frances Benjamin Johnston Photo Exhibit

Nationally renowned photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston dedicated herself to the Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South as a way to help preserve historic buildings and stress the importance of American architectural history. Take a look at the Fayetteville area buildings that she photographed that are part of the more than 7,000 images that comprise the survey. Visit the exhibit to see Fayetteville through Frances Benjamin Johnston’s eyes.
All ages; During museum hours; Free

200th Anniversary of The Fayetteville Observer

The Fayetteville Observer is North Carolina’s oldest newspaper still being published. It was first published as the Carolina Observer on June 20, 1816 and was renamed the Fayetteville Observer by E.J. Hale in 1825. A timeline of the newspaper’s history supported by artifacts trace the progress of the Fayetteville Observer.
All ages; During museum hours; Free

From State House to Statehood

In 1789, Fayetteville was the place where the North Carolina delegates ratified the United States Constitution and passed key legislation impacting our city, state and nation. This exhibit explores the people and places that surround this pivotal event in our city, state and national history. Visitors can also learn how Fayetteville has celebrated the ratification in previous milestone years.
All ages; During museum hours; Free

Lafayette in Fayetteville

Fayetteville is the first U.S. city named for the Marquis de Lafayette and the only city named for him that he visited. When he came back to America as a guest of the nation, the city rolled out the proverbial red carpet to welcome the famed nobleman and general. Learn more about the places he visited and the local people he met on March 4 and 5, 1825 as well as how this community has celebrated Lafayette.
All ages; During museum hours; Free

Modern Greece

Artifacts recovered from the Confederate blockade runner Modern Greece are the focus of the exhibit. Sunken at the mouth of the Cape Fear River in 1862 by the Union blockade, the recovery effort of this ship and her cargo was the beginning of underwater archaeology efforts for North Carolina. The exhibit also highlights the significant connection between Fayetteville and Wilmington via the Cape Fear River, particularly during the Civil War.
All ages; During museum hours; Free

Local Law Enforcement

Law and order has been maintained in the Fayetteville/ Cumberland County area for over 250 years. Visitors can take a look back at pivotal moments for police, sheriff, and other law enforcement agencies. This exhibit highlights some of the organizational changes, influential personnel, and tools of the trade in local law enforcement.
All ages; During museum hours; Free

Death and Remembrance: A Historical Perspective

In collaboration with the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex, our exhibit highlights the local story of death, changes in the funeral industry and cemeteries. Explore the ways that individuals, families and this community mourned loss in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The exhibit features mourning clothing and accessories, artifacts related to the funeral professionals of Fayetteville as well as local historical cemetery secrets.
All ages; During museum hours; Free

Civil War Exhibit

Cumberland County Goes to War is our exhibit commemorating the American Civil War. This exhibit
features artifacts, pictures, documents, and educational panels which explore Cumberland County’s war experience both on the battlefield as well as the sacrifices made on the home front.
All ages; During museum hours; Free

Railroading in Fayetteville

Fayetteville’s historic importance as a transportation hub involved river, roads and rails. From an early rail system in the 1820s to the Western Railroad bringing coal and iron to the passenger and freight connections established by the CF&YV Railroad and Atlantic Coastline Railroad, train travel has been vital to this community’s economy and wellbeing. Railroad enthusiasts will enjoy the artifacts and information highlighted in this exhibit.
All ages; During museum hours; Free

Early Camp Bragg and Pope Army Airfield

For nearly 100 years, soldiers and pilots have come from all over the county to train and work just north of Fayetteville. This exhibit focuses on these two installations during the time frame of 1918 to the eve of World War II. The establishment and growth of these two US Military installations, now Fort Bragg and Pope Army Airfield, has been pivotal in our national defense and key to our community’s identity.
All ages; During museum hours; Free