New Bern Historical Society

NEW BERN — Carol Becton’s Great Fire of 1922 presentation last December was so popular, it sold out 6 weeks ahead of time. It is coming back, online, on July 15 at 2pm on The New Bern Historical Society’s Facebook page, at no cost.  You can watch it on your phone, your tablet or your computer.

Why is this presentation so popular? The Great Fire of 1922 was a huge event in New Bern’s history, and continues to have effects today. It was on December 1, 1922, nearly 100 years ago. A fire started at the Rowland Lumber Company on the banks of the Neuse River. Then another fire started in a home on Kilmarnock Street near the Five Points intersection.  And many of the city’s firefighters were attending a state championship football game in Raleigh. And the winds were whipping up a firestorm.  The result was the Great Fire of 1922.  More than 3000 people were left homeless and 40 city blocks destroyed.  Carol Becton will discuss this compelling piece of our history.  She will share the story of the fire, its results, and the aftereffects that are still with us.

Carol is a native New Bernian.  She attended New Bern City Schools and graduated from J. T. Barber High School in 1970 and went on to North Carolina Central University in Durham and received a BA degree in English Education.  She received her Masters Degree in Educational Administration from East Carolina University in Greenville.  Carol was an educator in New Bern City, later Craven County Schools for over 34 years retiring as Principal.  She enjoys being a part of maintaining the legacy of the rich history of New Bern and being an active participant in preserving its rich history and sharing the story of our state’s “Colonial Capital”.

The Great Fire of 1922 is the second in a series of 4 virtual presentations the New Bern Historical Society is planning for July.  Executive Director, Mickey Miller is excited about this new project sharing 4 of the Historical Society’s most popular presentations.  “So many people wanted to see Carol’s Great Fire but were unable to attend.  We are delighted to be able to share it in an electronic venue.  We hope people will join us for the whole series, Wednesdays through July.  Find it on our Facebook page,

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