Accessibility

Brown handicap sign near fence

 

Somerset Place State Historic Site welcomes visitors with disabilities. Before visiting our site, please read our accessibility guide below, and if you have an accessibility need, please contact us at 252-379-6020 or email somerset@ncdcr.gov

Mobility Accessibility 

Parking

Designated handicapped parking is available. Please refer to our grounds map. When approaching our site on Park Road, enter straight from Park Road onto the historic unpaved carriage road. At the end of the road, park in the grass facing the lake. You may un/load on the unpaved road near the brick path that leads to the Visitor Center, but please do not permanently park in the road or alongside the canal during your visit. Please note that the ground where you park is not paved, and it may be uneven or affected by inclement weather as described below. You may exit the site using the same carriage road. 

For directions to our site, please follow the Directions and Special GPS Notice posted on the Plan Your Visit page of our website. 

Grounds

Due to the nature of the site's location and historic features, visitors will encounter changes in grade; uneven pathways; stairs; drainage ditches; wooden footbridges; swollen doors; and grass, gravel, dirt, oyster shell, or brick paths. Not all brick paths are at least four feet wide. Inclement weather may affect the accessibility of the grounds and buildings. Visitors with mobility disabilities may require assistance. 

Benches are available outside at various locations around the site, including in front of the Dairy, Kitchen/Laundry, and Lewis and Judy Home; underneath trees in the owner’s compound and the enslaved community; and in the outdoor learning center and Pete Thompson Memorial Garden. 

Please call ahead for more information about current conditions. 

Buildings Open on the Self-Guided and Guided Tours 

The Visitor Center (Colony House) is accessible only by stairs. There are 3 steps to enter the Visitor Center. The interior of the Visitor Center has carpeted and vinyl floors and small thresholds. Chairs are available inside. Public access is not allowed on the second floor. 

The Lewis and Judy Home is accessible only by stairs. There are 2 steps to enter the building. The interior of the building has wood floors. Public access is not allowed in the upstairs loft. This building is located within a grass field and is accessible by an oyster shell path. 

The Dairy is accessible only by stairs. There are 3 steps to enter the building. The interior of the building has wood floors and a small threshold at the door. 

The Kitchen/Laundry is accessible only by stairs. There are 3 steps to enter the building. A small handgrip is attached to the outside of the Kitchen doorframe. The interior of the building has wood floors and small thresholds at both doors. One bench is available inside the Laundry. 

The Kitchen Rations Building is accessible only by stairs. There are 2 steps to enter the building. The interior of the building has wood floors that are uneven in spots. 

The Smokehouse is not publicly accessible, but visitors may look inside the front door from the exterior brick path. 

The Salting House is accessible only by stairs. There are 2 steps to enter the building. The interior of the building has wood floors that are uneven in spots. 

Buildings Only Open on the Guided Tour

The Suckey Davis Home is accessible only by stairs. There are 4 steps to enter the building, and the stairs have a handrail. The interior of the building has wood floors. Benches are available inside. Public access is not allowed on the second floor. This building is located within a grass field and the front door is accessible by a brick path. 

The Plantation Hospital is accessible only by stairs. There are 4 steps to enter the building, and the stairs have a handrail. The interior of the building has wood floors. Benches are available inside. Public access is not allowed on the second floor. 

The first floor of the Collins Family Home is accessible by ramp or by stairs. The ramp and stairs have handrails. The second and third floors are accessible only by stairs. There are 18 steps to enter the second floor and 18 steps to enter the third floor. The interior of the building has wood floors, small rugs, and wide thresholds. Portions of the first and second floors are uneven due to settling. For visitors who cannot access the second and/or third floors, a pictorial tour binder with photos and written descriptions of the upstairs rooms is available upon request. Chairs are also available inside upon request. 

Restrooms

Restrooms are ADA compliant and are accessible by ramp or by stairs, both of which have handrails. The restroom sink faucets have levers. One bench is available inside the Women’s Restroom. 

D/deaf or Hard of Hearing Accessibility 

A self-guided tour brochure is available upon request or visitors may access the self-guided tour online using their personal mobile device. The self-guided tour provides an understanding of the historical functions of the structures on site, and visitors are welcome to enter the Lewis and Judy Home in the enslaved community and the domestic dependencies in the owner’s compound. Visitors cannot enter the Collins Family Home, Plantation Hospital, or Suckey Davis Home except on a guided tour. However, visitors may walk the porches of the Collins Home and look inside the windows. Many of the buildings and archaeological excavations are also marked with wayside signage. 

For guided tours and other visitor services, one tablet computer is available with the written tour script and space for visitors and staff members to type questions/answers, comments, and other dialogue. To schedule a guided tour for visitor(s) who are D/deaf or hard of hearing, please contact us at least 14 days in advance by calling 252-379-6020 or emailing somerset@ncdcr.gov

Blind or Low Vision Accessibility

The online self-guided tour, which visitors can access on their personal mobile device, has audio descriptions for each of the 16 tour stops. 

During a guided tour, there are numerous reproduction items for visitors to touch in the reconstructed slave houses and original domestic dependencies, including beds, tables, benches, cooking ware, dining ware, sedge brooms, baskets, irons, and butter churns. Additionally, our Hands-On and STEAM educational programming, which include a guided tour and subsequent historic craft or STEAM activity, offer tactile experiences such as butter making. To schedule a guided tour for visitor(s) who are blind or low vision, please contact us at least 14 days in advance by calling 252-379-6020 or emailing somerset@ncdcr.gov. Please note that audio description services are not available. 

Cognitive, Sensory, or Learning Accessibility

We have created a Social Story about Somerset Place. This was designed specifically for children with sensory disabilities so that they will know what to expect when they visit our site. Click on the Social Story on the right side of this page to download the PDF.  

Service Animals

Service animals are welcome at state historic sites. For a definition of a service animal, please see the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) definition

Public Wi-Fi

Somerset Place State Historic Site has a new high-speed Wi-Fi device installed at our parking lots as part of the state’s NC Student Connect Park and Learn program to help our neighbors and local students connect to the internet.  

The initiative is a partnership between DNCR and Gov. Cooper’s Hometown Strong program designed to address internet connectivity gaps in rural N.C. The program is adding free public Wi-Fi to more than 400 sites across the state, including state parks and historic sites, as well as local libraries, to provide free high-speed internet to students for remote learning. 

Other Accessibility Information

Wheelchairs, assisted listening devices, and public telephones are not available. 

A printed copy of a Spanish translation of our website is available upon request in the Visitor Center for guests to use during their visit; it is of the older website and may not contain the same information as the newer website. Please note that staff members do not speak Spanish. 

A German translation of the self-guided tour is available upon request in the Visitor Center for guests to use during their visit. Please note that staff members do not speak German.