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.


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. A Market House exhibit and carriage rides at the museum are part of the special event. For more information, visit www.theartscouncil.com or call (910) 323-1776.
All ages; Fri., Nov. 23; 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 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. 17; Mon., Feb. 4, 2019; 9 am-noon; $3/person 
This seasons tours are:
Dec. 17: Historic Churches; 9 am-noon
Feb. 4: African-American Heritage; 9 am-noon

Mid-Month Market House Open House

Downtown Fayetteville is a wonderful place to shop, dine and explore. Experience Downtown Fayetteville from its center point, the Market House. On the 2nd Fri. of Sept., Oct. Nov. and Dec. from noon to 4 pm come and visit the 2nd floor of the Market House to learn a little bit more about our local history. Exhibits on the second floor are always changing so that we can tell our community’s rich and varied history.
All Ages; 2nd Fri. of Dec.; noon-4 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.


Fayetteville Fire Department History Expanded Exhibit!

Beginning this Fall, 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 the fall of 2018.
All ages; During museum hours; Free 

Early African American Businesses in Fayetteville

Opening February 2019 is a new exhibit highlighting African American history. 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.
Opens Fri. Feb. 1, 2019; 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

150th Anniversary of Fayetteville State University

150 years ago, seven local African-Americans paid for land on Gillespie Street for a school to be built. Named the Howard School, it would fill a deep rooted desire for African-Americans to achieve an education and it would become a model institution of learning for North Carolina during Reconstruction. Trace the origins of the Howard School through the close of Robert Harris’s administration, the school’s first principal.
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

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