If you stop by the Bellamy over the next few days, you will notice some construction around the back of the house. We had 23,000 visitors at the mansion in 2014, each of which utilized the back porch, which overlooks the grounds. Due to the traffic the upper rear porch has endured, it is overdue for repairs. Thanks to a generous $9,000 grant from the Landfall Foundation, we are able to get a start on these repairs which are helping to maintain the structural integrity of the house. The work is being done by Rogers Building Corporation. Two of the crew members told us a bit about the project going underway. The size of the beams are 4.5 x 10 and the wood type is southern yellow pine glulam. When speaking with one of the men with Rogers Building Corporation, Andrew, he noted how heavy the beams are; the weight is 23 pounds a foot. They are expected to be finished with the construction by Wednesday, July 22.
As the nation has mourned the horrific slaying of nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, discussion has centered on how a person could commit such an atrocity. This conversation leads to the clearly still open sore that is racism in America. Based on the information we have now, the killer murdered these innocent people in an effort to incite a race war and ultimately to return a long rejected status quo. The young man believed that segregation of the races and subjugation of African Americans is what our country needs. Most of us believed that this type of thinking was dead and that our society had sown up the wound left by slavery, we believed that we had moved on. While this horrible chapter of our past can never be removed we thought that we had eradicated this type of thinking. Yet in the wake of the Charleston slayings we find ourselves questioning the place of racism in our society. When we do this we are examining the long shadow slavery has cast over our nation.
The perspectives of those who built, maintained, and lived in the Bellamy mansion whether black or white, enslaved or free provides a rare and authentic glimpse at the state of our nation during the final years of the Civil War. The museum provides a narrative that, in part, conveys a snapshot of the social construct that is still affecting our nation today. The museum gives an honest representation of the lives of the Bellamy family members and those enslaved men and women who worked for them. Our fully restored urban slave quarters offer a unique glimpse into the daily existence of an urban slave during the mid-1800s. The few sites that are still left to us, such as the Bellamy Mansion, are treasures that all should see. The importance and justification of their upkeep has been made clear again by recent events and subsequent exploration of our past. In order to grasp the repercussions that we are feeling in the wake of the Charleston shooting we must understand the social construct that created them. For this reason the Bellamy Mansion Museum is more relevant today than ever before.
Because of this we are committed to conveying the story that our slave quarters have to tell. We do this through showing the quarters as well as an exhibit, "Still Standing: Why Slave Dwellings Matter", which is currently on display. We invite you to come visit and experience these artifacts, which we are so lucky to have. The exhibit will remain up through July the 19th. These are only a part of what the museum has to offer and we encourage you to take in the entirety of what we have to offer on one of our tours.
offers tours, features changing exhibits, and provides venue space for
weddings and special events.
503 Market Street
Wilmington, NC 28401
Tues - Sat 10am- 4pm
Sunday 1pm- 4pm