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.


Spring Fling Car Show

Spring is in the air and what better time to show off your antique, vintage, custom or just plain awesome vehicle. Our Spring Fling Car Show will be hosted on the museum grounds on Saturday, March 24. The public is invited to check out all of the cool cars and cast their vote for a favorite. Car show vehicle registration is free and begins at 9 am. First 50 entrants receive a dash plaque. Category winner trophies awarded at 1 pm.
All ages; Sat., March 24; 9 am-1 pm; Free

Spring Break Scavenger Hunt

Will you find the clues to our local history mysteries? From April 3 through 6, kids can search for special local history questions (and the answers) hidden throughout our exhibits. This self-guided activity is perfect for Grades 2-5 who are eager to learn more about Fayetteville and the surrounding area.
5-12 yrs; Tues.-Fri.; April 3-6; During museum hours; Free

City Market at the Museum Spring Kick Off

Sat., April 21 is the perfect day to kick off the 2018 season of the City Market at the Museum. 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, 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; Sat.; 9 am-1 pm; Free

North Carolina State Capitol Bus Tour

Join museum staff as we travel to Raleigh for a guided tour of the State Capitol on Tuesday, May 29.We will explore the historic connection between Fayetteville and Raleigh. We will also visit Christ Church at Capitol Square, a National Landmark designed and built to complement the State Capitol. Participants will travel via bus but tours may require moderate walking. The bus tour has a fee of $5 per person. This tour involves moderate walking. Lunch is a separate purchase. Registration required. Space is limited. For more information or to register, call the museum.                                                                                                                                       
10+; Tues., May 29; 9 am-3 pm; $5/person 

Architecture Walking Tour- Headquarter Library and Downtown Fayetteville

Much of Fayetteville’s history can be traced through its historic structures. Explore the form and function of our built environment with this presentation and walking tour. Join museum staff at the Headquarters Library at 300 Maiden Lane in Downtown Fayetteville on Saturday, June 16. Presentation begins at 9 am followed by a brisk walking tour beginning at 10 am. Moderate walking is involved.                                                                               
10+; Sat., June 16; 9 am-12:30 pm; Free

Cape Fear River Presentation and Boat Tour

Learn about the history of boats on the Cape Fear River and then hop on board for an evening boat ride. Two Friday evening tours will be offered:  April 20 and July 13. The presentation will be in the museum annex and then participants will travel to Campbellton Landing for a sunset river tour to the confluence of the river and Rockfish Creek. Space is limited. Reservations are required. For more information or to register, call the museum. 
10+; Fri.; April 20 and July 13; 6:30-9:30 pm; $25/person

Historic Churches Bus Tour

Join museum staff on Mon., Aug. 13 as we travel through Downtown Fayetteville to learn about the development of our community’s early religions and historic churches. 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., Aug. 13; 9 am-noon; $3/person

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:                                                                                                                            
March 23: Civil War History                                                                                                                                            
April 27: Scottish Heritage                                                                                                                                             
May 25: Banking                                                                                                                                                              
June 22: World War I                                                                                                                                                        
July 27: Vintage Postcards                                                                                                                                              
Aug. 24: Market House History      

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 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. All ages; 4th Fri. of Mar-Sept.; 6-9 pm; Free

Mid-Month Market House Open House:

Experience Downtown Fayetteville from its center point, the Market House. Downtown Fayetteville is a wonderful place to shop, dine, explore. On the 2nd Friday of the months of March through August. 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. On Friday, June 8, at 2 pm, there will be a special presentation highlighting the Market House as a focal point in Downtown Fayetteville.  All Ages; 2nd Fri. of Mar.-Aug.; noon-4 pm; Free

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 at 6:30 pm 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.                                                                                                                                                                     
10+; March 8, April 12, May 17, July 12, and Aug. 9; 6:30 pm; Free                                                                   

Topics and dates are:                                                                                                                                                         
Mar 8: Women’s History                                                                                                                                                  
April 12: The Cape Fear River                                                                                                                                         
May 17: The Coming of Camp Bragg                                                                                                                             
July 12: Mill Villages                                                                                                                                                       
Aug. 9: Early Religions in Cumberland County


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.


Camp Bragg and Pope Army Air Field

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

**CLOSING THIS APRIL**                                                                                                                     

Saint John’s Episcopal Church- The First 100 Years

Established in 1817, Saint John’s Episcopal Church has made significant impacts on the Fayetteville community over the past 200 years. In partnership with Saint John’s, explores the rich history of the church’s first 100 years. The exhibit examines the unique architecture, symbolism, and stained glass windows in the church which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Most importantly the exhibit addresses the impact the church has made beyond its congregation.
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