KINSTON - After many years of planning and preparation, the CSS Neuse will move to its new climate controlled home in downtown Kinston on Saturday, June 23. The 141 foot remains of the vessel will be loaded onto moving dollies at sunrise to begin the short journey from Vernon Avenue to downtown. The 260 tons will travel at the dizzying speed of one mile per hour and should arrive at its destination after two hours.
The ironclad CSS Neuse was a new class of warship built with iron plates attached to protect her crew. Because of her weight and the receding Neuse River, she saw little military action and was scuttled and burned by her crew in 1865. For nearly 100 years, the remains rested on the bottom of the Neuse River. Since 1964, the vessel has been part of the CSS Neuse/Governor Richard Caswell State Historic Site. This is the only commissioned Confederate ironclad that remains above water.
In addition to climate control, the new space at 100 N. Queen St. has a 12 inch slab below floor to hold the vessel, and the tall beams needed to support the ceiling. Because of the size of the ironclad, construction on the building will be completed after the Neuse is positioned inside.
The Caswell Memorial will remain open during the period of the move, but tours of the CSS Neuse have been suspended as preparations for the move are underway.
For additional information, call (919) 807-7389. The CSS Neuse/Governor Caswell State Historic Site is part of the Division of State Historic Sites within the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.