Glimpses into two of our nation's most pivotal wars can be found within the city of Kinston at two different historic sites. At the Governor Richard Caswell Memorial, you will explore the celebrated life of Richard Caswell, the first governor of the independent state of North Carolina and his role in establishing North Carolina as part of the United States. At the CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center, which is now located downtown, you will see the remains of the ironclad gunboat CSS Neuse, a product of the Confederate navy's ill-fated attempt to regain control of the lower Neuse River and retake the city of New Bern during the Civil War and state of the art exhibits that tell the story of life in Kinston during the Civil War. 

Hours and Location

CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center 
Tuesday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Sunday, Monday, and most major holidays. 

100 N. Queen St.
Kinston, NC 28501

Caswell Memorial
Friday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

2612 W. Vernon Ave. (U.S. 70 Bus.)
Kinston, NC 28504

Visitors should call ahead, as hours sometimes change unexpectedly. Large groups should call ahead for tour arrangements.


Adults - $5
Seniors (65+) - $4 
Active Military (w/ I.D.) - $4
Children (Ages 3 - 12) - $3
Children (Ages 0 - 2) - Free

Special rates for groups of 10 or more. Ask for prices when you schedule group. CSS Neuse Gunboat Association memberships available. Members in good standing receive free admission.

Guided Tours

Guided tours of the CSS Neuse are available upon request. We ask that groups make reservations in advance.

Group Reservations


CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center 
The remains of the hull of the Confederate ironclad CSS Neuse are on display, in addition to state of the art exhibits which tell the story of why Kinston was strategically important during the Civil War, how the ship was constructed, technological changes that came about during the war, why ironclads were important, sailor life, the recovery of the ship in the 1960s and moving the ship to its new location downtown, life on the homefront in Lenoir County during the war, and the site is in the process of completing Phase III of exhibit completion, which will tell the story of wartime Kinston. 

Governor Richard Caswell Memorial
New exhibits were installed in August 2007, rededicating the building to Governor Caswell. Some of the items on display include Caswell's law books, family Bible, and his daughter's tea set. The Caswell Memorial building also houses offices, restrooms, and a gift shop.

Trails, Monuments, Outdoor Exhibits
The Caswell family cemetery is located on the grounds. 

Handicapped Accessibility
Tours of the CSS Neuse are accessible to all visitors. The Caswell Memorial is fully accessible.

Picnic Facilities
Some tables are available on the grounds at the Caswell Memorial. There is ample space available for a picnic. 

Gift Shop
The visitor center sales desk has items related to all aspects of the site’s history.

Programs, Group Activities

We offer tours and special STEM based interactive activities for all groups. cover illustration of the school brochure