Plan Your Visit

Dayliles in bloom at Somerset Place

Somerset Place is a offers a comprehensive and realistic view of 19th-century life on a large North Carolina plantation. Originally, this unusual plantation included more than 100,000 densely wooded, mainly swampy acres bordering the five-by-eight mile Lake Phelps, in present-day Washington County. During its 80 years as an active plantation (1785-1865), hundreds of acres were converted into high yielding fields of rice, corn, oats, wheat, beans, peas, and flax; sophisticated sawmills turned out thousands of feet of lumber. By 1865, Somerset Place was one of the upper South's largest plantations. 

Hours and Location

Tuesday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Sunday, Monday, and most major holidays

2572 Lake Shore Road
Creswell, N.C. 27928

Special GPS Notice

Many visitors report trouble using GPS navigation when driving here. We suggest taking exit 558 from highway US64. Then follow the signs to Somerset Place. (Lat: 35.789148/Long:-76.403627 / 2572 Lake Shore Road / Creswell, NC / 27928)

From U.S. 64 in Creswell follow the brown signs south through downtown Creswell. Turn right on Thirty-Foot Road. Proceed for approximately five miles, and turn left on Lake Shore Road. Somerset Place is on the right approximately one-half mile past Pettigrew State Park headquarters.


Admission is free

Effective October 15, 2020 guided tours will cost: 

  • Adults: $2.00
  • Children (ages 5-12): $1.00
  • Seniors (ages 65 & older): $1.00


We currently offer a 45-60-minute guided tour at the top of the hour from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday. With current COVID-19 restrictions, tours are limited to 14 visitors and are first-come-first-served. Cloth face masks are required to enter the visitor center and historic buildings on the tour. The guided tour starts with an outdoor orientation, and a walking tour of the reconstructed two-story slave dwelling, reconstructed hospital, and the first floor of the original Collins family home. Please wear comfortable walking shoes and appropriate clothing. Due to COVID-19 this is subject to change.

We are also offering a special new tour, entitled Somerset Place in the New South: From Plantation to State Historic Site, 1865 - PresentVisitors will learn about the post-Civil War history of Somerset Place on this 75-minute tour, including the demise of slavery, the period after the Collins family’s ownership, and the lives of newly-freed African Americans. Interpreters will examine how Somerset Place was preserved as a public site and how memories and interpretations of its history changed from the Jim Crow Era to the present. This new tour will be offered the 3rd Saturday of every month at 1:00 pm or by reservation for groups of 15 or more. This tour is designed for participants of high school age and up.  There is a special tour fee of $3.00 per person. 

Tour Map


Historic Structures
Visitors tour the Collins Family Home (ca. 1830) and related domestic dependencies including the Dairy, Kitchen/Laundry, Kitchen Rations Building, Smokehouse, and Salting House. Reconstructed buildings related to the enslaved community include the Suckey Davis Home, Lewis and Judy's Home, and the Plantation Hospital. Archaeological remains of several other buildings and the plantation grounds (including stocks where enslaved individuals were punished) can also be explored.
Exposed foundations of buildings within the enslaved community include the Meat Rations Building, Kitchen complex, and the Lake Chapel.
Visitor Center
The Visitor Center in the Colony House features a timeline of the plantation's history from its creation in 1784 until the establishment of Somerset Place State Historic Site in 1969.
Trails, Monuments, Outdoor Exhibits
The Pete Thompson Memorial Garden, completed in 1996, is adjacent to the parking lot. Nature trails link Somerset Place with Pettigrew State Park and the Pettigrew family cemetery.
Handicapped Accessibility
The first floor of the Collins Family Home is accessible to all visitors and restrooms are ADA compliant.  
Picnic Facilities
Camping and picnic facilities are available in the adjacent Pettigrew State Park.
Gift Shop
Relevant literature, period toys, souvenirs, local crafts, and novelty items are available at the gift shop located in the Visitor Center.

Educational Programming

Hands-on educational and STEAM programs are available from March 1st through November 15th  for scheduled groups. Please see the Educational Program link for more information.