Maritime History Enthusiasts: You Won’t Want to Miss This!

Model of the CSS Neuse. From the General Negative Collection, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC.

The North Carolina Maritime History Council is readying for its annual conference and invites members of the general public who share a similar interest to join them.

The Council will meet Nov. 7 to 9 at the CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center in Kinston for a series of talks related to this year’s theme, “Inland Waterways.”

Registration for the full conference is $125 for the general public and $75 for full-time students or teachers in grades kindergarten through 12.


Single-day registration fees are $20 for the welcome reception on Nov. 7, $45 for the Nov. 8 presentations, $45 for the Nov. 8 reception and keynote dinner, and $25 for the Nov. 9 presentations.

Conference fees also include membership in the Maritime History Council.

See the full agenda here

Council Secretary Frances Hayden said she is looking forward to this year’s lineup.

“There’s quite a few topics that sound really good,” Hayden said. “I’m anxious to hear Mackenzie Mirre.” 


Mirre, who is pursuing her master’s in maritime studies, is the first presenter on the final day of the conference. Her topic is Runaways, Shad Fishers and Steamboat Passengers: Capturing African American Presence on the Tar Riverscape.

“Hayden also singled out Andrew Duppstadt, the education and interpretation supervisor for the North Carolina Division of State Historic Sites, based on her interest in the Civil War. Duppstadt, who also teaches history at UNC-Pembroke, Coastal Carolina Community College and Craven Community College, will discuss Lt. Frances Lyell Hoge, CSN: “An Able and True Officer.”

Writers, professors, students, archaeologists and historians are also among those scheduled to speak.

Other presentations include John Lawson’s Delicious Country, A Futile Endeavor: Examining a Derelict Antebellum River Lock in Greenville, N.C., Bad Luck All Around: The North Carolina Built Ironclads, An Archaeological Examination of Washington’s Nineteenth Century Waterfront, New Discoveries at Brunswick Town, and more.

Council Treasurer Christine Brin said the speakers are well-known and popular within the maritime community.

Ben Still and Richard Stephenson will give the keynote: The Importance of the Shipbuilding Industry to North Carolina.

“Still’s a local, niche legend,” she said. “I’ll fan-girl over him, but people outside the area may not be familiar with him. This gives him a place to be appreciated.”

Brin said the council has been hosting the conference since 1994, and it draws professional and “armchair” historians from throughout the southeast.

“We’re not a large organization by any means,” she said, explaining that is by partially by design. While the subject matter is a niche one that in itself limits the potential pool of members, the organization size allows for a real connection and networking among its members.

“We like to keep it small, keep it intimate,” Brin said. “You don’t get lost in that crowd. You get to meet all these people.”

For more information on the council or the conference, including the full agenda, visit, email [email protected] or call 252-504-7763.

About the N.C. Maritime History Council

The North Carolina Maritime History Council came together in 1988 when a group of individuals involved in the maritime history field began meeting informally to share information and to discuss issues of mutual concern.

In 1990, the North Carolina Maritime History Council was incorporated with the mission to identify and encourage historical and educational projects that have as their purpose the enhancement and preservation of the state’s maritime history and culture and that create public awareness of that heritage.

Over the years the N.C. Maritime History Council has supported a variety of projects and programs to help encourage advancement and awareness of maritime history. Currently these projects include the annual N.C. Maritime History Council’s annual conference, the N.C. historic vessel registry and the annual publication of Tributaries.

Via the NC Maritime Museum in Beaufort