Downtown Fayetteville is a hub for entertainment – with countless museums, galleries, artisan shops and more, it’s clear our hometown has a rich history of art and culture. And that history dates back even farther than you may think, it has been developing since World War II. Check out these stories on how some of the most notable artistic parts of Fayetteville came to life!

  • The Fayetteville Symphony was founded in 1956 and has played a large role in the city’s culture since then. The symphony came about from a group of instrumentalists who played in local homes and dreamed of playing more regularly. Their vision became a reality when music director Marion Rogers, a music program leader in the Fayetteville City Schools, decided to lead the organization. Today, the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra has grown into a professional, regional orchestra with its own youth division for various ages in southeastern North Carolina.
  • The Fayetteville Observer, founded in 1816 as the Carolina Observer, is the state’s oldest newspaper still published today. Editor E.J. Hale led the newspaper for 40 years throughout the Civil War. In 1865, the Union army destroyed the Carolina Observer offices. The Hale family re-established the offices in 1883 and the publication has been serving the city with the latest local news ever since!
  • The Poe House, built in 1897, belonged to the family of local businessman Edgar Allen Poe, who happens to have the same name as the famous poet. Today, the home serves as a place to learn more about life in the early twentieth century. Tours of the home are facilitated by the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex, which opened in June 1988 as part of the NC Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources. The museum and Poe House are prime spots for visitors to immerse themselves in the history and culture of Fayetteville.