Spend a morning or an afternoon exploring one of the last remaining plantation complexes in North Carolina. Poplar Grove, formerly a sweet potato and peanut plantation, was in the Foy family for six generations, from 1795 to 1971. It opened to the public as a museum in 1980. The present Manor House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and sustained through the continuing efforts of Poplar Grove Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit Public Charity, dedicated to education, conservation, and preservation.
Built and maintained by the skills and labor of Foy household slaves circa 1850, Joseph Mumford Foy chose this location to construct his home to be closer to the Old New Bern Road, and later the Wilmington and Topsail Sound Plank Road. Poplar Grove Foundation, Inc. preserves the homestead of a pre-Civil War Slave-owning family, along with the outbuildings and crafts typical of a 19th century working community. The 15+ remaining acres of the homestead are under the stewardship of the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust.
In the October 2013 issue of Our State, you can read Burial and Mourning at Poplar Grove by Philip Gerard. Explore the Civil War Series by Philip Gerard in Our State magazine during this Sesquicentennial of the Civil War. We are also listed in USA Today in June 2014 as one of the 10 Best Southern Historic Plantations to visit, and our Animal Sanctuary, whose mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and place abused and neglected horses, is featured in the February 2015 issue of Wilma Magazine.
The Foundation would also like to thank Kimberly Sherman, consulting historian, for conducting research and providing historical and political context to the Foy family archives located both on the property and in the Robert Lee Foy Collection at the Joyner Library at East Carolina University.
We are honored to exhibit, From Civil War to Civil Rights: The African American Experience at Poplar Grove, which opened on June 19, 2014. This permanent display is free to the public and located in the Manor House basement. The project was made possible in part by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide non-profit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit our Exhibits and Lecture Series page for more information.