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.

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 steamboat interactive and the recreated Station Agent’s Office. Exhibits are frequently rotated.

Museum Annex

Conveniently located next door to the museum, the annex continues Fayetteville’s story with additional displays. Vintage cars, the recreated 1920s gas station, and Fayetteville’s 1880s Silsby Steam Pump Engine are a delight. Exhibit topics also include plank roads, fire department history, and farm life.


The Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum is a wonderful, educational resource for the City of Fayetteville. In addition to a self-guided experience, guided tours are offered 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. 

For more information or to schedule a tour or program call 433-1457, 433-1458 or 433-1944. Tours have maximum/minimum participant requirements. We open early for groups and tours can be shortened, lengthened, or tailored to meet your group’s needs.

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, some of the historic churches, Liberty Point, Cool Springs Tavern, and Cross Creek Cemetery.

Preschool Group Special Emphasis Tours

We offer themed experiences for visitors 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: greeting visitors, assisting with our collections, or 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.


City Market at the Museum- Fall/Winter season

A market for local farmers and crafters is hosted on the grounds of the museum every Sat. from 9 am to 1 pm. Fresh, locally grown vegetables, fruits, eggs, honey, and other farm products are offered for sale. These seasonal offerings along with plants, flowers, fiber art, 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; Sat., 9 am-1 pm; Free

Constitution Day at the Market House

Did you know that Fayetteville was the location where the General Assembly of North Carolina ratified the U.S. Constitution? At 11 am on Tuesday, September 17, 2019, we will celebrate Constitution Day. Museum staff will provide a history program. Join members of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Sons of the American Revolution on the 2nd floor of  the Market House as we remember the historic document and the ratification that took place on that site 230 years ago.
All ages; Tues., Sept. 17; 11 am; Free

Lafayette Trail History Bus Tour

Museum staff will lead you on a fascinating trip through time as you retrace General Lafayette’s footsteps when he was a guest of the city on March 4-5, 1825. This tour is a collaboration with Fayetteville’s Lafayette Society. The tour on September 7, 2019 begins at 9 am the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry Armory and Museum at 210 Burgess Street in historic downtown Fayetteville. The tour does have a fee that includes coffee and pastries as well as a boxed lunch. Pre-registration is required. For more information about the fee and to register contact City Center Gallery & Books at (910) 678-8899.
10+; Sat., Sept. 7; 9 am-noon; Fee; Registration Required

Historic Hauntings Cemetery Tours- Updated

Join museum staff in historic Cross Creek Cemetery No. 1 for tours with a Halloween twist. Historic Hauntings takes place on Thurs., Oct. 17, Fri., Oct. 18 and Sat., Oct. 19, from 6:30 pm to 10 pm. Cross Creek Cemetery No. 1 is Fayetteville’s oldest municipal cemetery, dating back to the late 1700's. Tours begin every 30 minutes at the cemetery located on North Cool Springs Street. There is ample parking near the cemetery. This event is part of the Dogwood Fall Festival. There is a fee for the tours and pre-registration is recommended. For more information or to register visit www.thedogwoodfestival.com.
10+; Oct. 17-19; Beginning at 6:30 pm

A Dickens Holiday

Discover this historic family tradition in the heart of downtown. Sponsored by the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County, a Dickens Holiday is something only a Scrooge would miss. The museum is a proud participant in the event hosting a few activities: the Market House will be open to the public with an exhibit highlighting Victorian Christmas traditions, our museum grounds will feature family fun, and special carriage rides start and stop at the main entrance of the museum. Dickens Holiday is a great day to be downtown.  For more information, visit www.theartscouncil.com or call (910) 323-1776.
All ages; Fri., Nov. 29; 1-9 pm; Free and fee activities

Cumberland County History Bus Tours

Travel the area with staff from the museum on one of our history-themed bus tours. Let us be your guide to some of the area’s most historically significant sites. Participants will travel via bus but tours may require moderate walking. The tour has a fee of $3.00. Registration Required Space is limited. For more information or to register, call the museum.                                                                                         
10+; Mon.; Dec. 9, Feb. 17, Feb. 24; 9 am-noon; $3/person; Registration Required
Tours this season are:
Dec. 9, 2019: Historic Churches                            
Feb 17, 2020: Catholic Heritage Tour                    
Feb. 24, 2020: African-American Heritage             

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 Sept. and Oct.; 6-9 pm; 4th Fri.; Free
Special exhibits for this season are:
Sept. 27: Market House Memorabilia
Oct. 17: History of Military Devotional Manuals
Oct. 25: Early Fayetteville Cemetery Stonecutters

Local History at the Library

The museum and the Cumberland County Library and Information Center are teaming up to bring you a host of local history presentations. Both sites 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 on the dates below in the State and Local History Room of Headquarters Library located at 300 Maiden Lane in Downtown Fayetteville. Presentation will be given by staff from the Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History. The bus tour portion of the April 11 program has a fee of $3. The bus tour portion may require moderate walking. Bus tour registration is required Space is limited. For more information or to register, call the museum.
10+; Sept. 12, Oct. 10, Oct. 17 and Nov. 14; 6:30 pm; Free
Topics and dates are:
Sept. 12: Architecture Walking Tour
Oct. 10: Archaeology
Oct. 17: History of Military Devotional Manuals
Nov. 14: Fayetteville’s Military History


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 Tues. through Sat. 10 am to 4 pm.


Agriculture in Cumberland in Cumberland: Opens Tues., Sept. 10, 2019

Agriculture is an important industry in Cumberland County and it always has been. From farm, fiber and forest products it is agriculture that has sustained many of our residents for over 250 years. It is with that tradition in mind, that we have renovated a special space in our museum annex to present “Agriculture in Cumberland County”, opening on Tues., Sept. 10 as a permanent exhibit. Numerous large and small vintage farm implements are part of the display.
Opens Tue. Sept. 10; All ages; During museum hours; Free

Museum Collection Oddities: Opens Tues., Oct. 8, 2019

Deep within our museum collection are a number of artifacts that are a bit unusual. Many of these items are job specific tools or household items that have become obsolete. Do you think you can identify them? “Museum Collection Oddities” is an exciting and interactive exhibit opening on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 and will run into the 2020 calendar year.
Opens Tues., Oct. 8; All ages; During museum hours; Free

African American Medical Professionals: Opens Sat., Feb. 1, 2020

Beginning in the 19th Century, African Americans took on the professional role of doctor, dentist or pharmacist in this community. Beyond their professions, these individuals became leaders in Fayetteville and Cumberland County.  “African American Medical Professionals” opens in celebration of Black History Month on Saturday, February 1, 2020 and will run through the year.
Opens Sat. Feb. 1; All ages; During museum hours; Free


Fayetteville Baseball Fever

Don’t miss out on your spring training in local history! “Baseball in Fayetteville” is the museum’s newest exhibit. Opening March 22, 2019, with a special 4th Friday celebration, this exhibit highlights our community’s love of the game. As we embark on the newest chapter of baseball here, learn about the nearly 150 years of homerun hitting heritage. “Baseball in Fayetteville” will be open through 2019 and part of 2020.
All ages; During museum hours; Free.

Fayetteville Fire Department History Expanded Exhibit!

Visit a newly expanded exhibit in our Museum Annex devoted to the history of the Fayetteville Fire Department. Learn how the all-volunteer force established in 1791 has grown into a proud, professional team of first responders who help keep Fayetteville safe. The exhibit features numerous artifacts including two restored Fayetteville Fire Department vehicles, a 1880s Silsby horse drawn pumper, and a 1920s LaFrance fire truck. This exhibit will grow and evolve throughout 2019 and 2020. 
All ages; During museum hours; Free 

Early African American Businesses in Fayetteville

Open through December 2019 is our exhibit highlighting African American businesses. From its early days, Fayetteville had a small but substantial free Black population, many of whom were engaged in business throughout the Downtown area. This exhibit will trace a number of prominent and prosperous African American business men and women from the antebellum period through the mid-Twentieth Century. 
All ages; During museum hours; Free

Centennial of Fort Bragg

On Aug. 21, 1918, General Orders Number 77 was issued by the War Department establishing Camp Bragg as a Field Artillery Cantonment. To commemorate the Fort Bragg centennial, the museum has revamped its Camp Bragg and Pope Army Air Field exhibit. For 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

Fayetteville “Over There”- Centennial of World War I

This area’s organizations, businesses, institutions, families and individual men and women and children rose to the occasion when our nation entered World War I. With a focus on both military service and efforts on the home front, this exhibit commemorates the centennial of the United States in the Great War. Fayetteville and Cumberland County made every effort to return the favor of our town’s namesake, Lafayette.                             
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

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