“Bryan’s History Tour of Harnett”

By: Bryan Avery

As Harnett County’s “unofficial” historian and native, Bryan is also film producer, of the recent historical short films, called Rivertown, as well as author of the Olde Averasborough book series about Harnett County.

Saturday Morning:

Gen. William C. Lee Airborne Museum

A great place to learn about the U.S. Airborne and about Dunn’s most famous military hero, General William C. Lee, can be discovered at this landmark museum in Dunn, which also happens to be the beautifully restored early 20th century neoclassical style home, where General Lee and his wife, Dava, resided back in 1935. I recommend arriving when they open at 11am.

INSIDER TIP: For a special treat on Saturdays, Miss Gloria Gulledge, a retired local high school history teacher, will mesmerize you with her accounts and stories of the General’s life and service.

209 W. Divine Street, Dunn
(910) 892-1947
Monday-Friday 8:30am-4pm, Saturday 11am-4pm, and closed Sunday. Admission is free.

antque history


De’Borahs Restaurant

Take a short drive from the Gen. Lee Airborne Museum for lunch in Downtown Dunn at a local favorite, De’Borah’s. They have a fantastic lunch buffet of delicious “country-cooked” food you will enjoy.

313 East Broad Street
(910) 897-4000
Friday 11am – 3pm / Saturday 7am – Noon / Sunday 11am – 5pm


Saturday Afternoon:

Averasboro Battlefield & Museum

Especially for the Civil War history lover, the Averasboro Battlefield & Museum is a real local treasure. You will learn all about the battle that took place there in March of 1865, just prior to Bentonville. The museum holds artifacts from the battlefield as well as period uniforms. You can also visit the Chicora Cemetery where the battle’s fallen are buried.

NC 82, Exit 71, I-95
(910) 891-5019
Open Tuesday-Saturdays 10-5, Sundays 1-5.

barn sign

Saturday Evening:

Fine Dining and Stewart Theater

We’ve got two fantastic steak houses in Dunn, Heath’s Steak House and The Brass Lantern. In addition to steak, each restaurant offers an extensive menu. I enjoy the stuffed baked potato and salad bar at each place! While planning your evening out, you may want to check out the schedule at the Stewart Theater. They put on some great productions with local actors of all ages.

Heath’s Steak House
316 S Powell Ave., Dunn
(910) 892-4728

The Brass Lantern
515 Spring Branch Rd., Dunn
(910) 892-6309

Stewart Theatre
114 N Wilson Avenue, Dunn
(910) 892-6011
Call for programs and performance dates and times. 

stewart heaths

Sunday Lunch/Brunch:

Cracker Barrel

Who doesn’t enjoy a leisurely Sunday morning? That’s the way it is in Dunn. Before heading out to see more history, stop for brunch at The Cracker Barrel in Dunn. If you haven’t been, you’ll enjoy the great breakfast menu and the “General Store” type gift shop with rocking chairs on the porch to enjoy while you’re waiting to be seated.

Cracker Barrel
1102 E Cumberland St., Dunn
(910) 892-7814

pancakes checkers

Sunday Afternoon:

Coats Cotton & Coats Heritage Museums

After breakfast, take a short drive over to the town of Coats. The Coats History and the Coats Cotton Museums are located adjacent to each other, and each has its own flavor of the town’s history and local genealogies that include family artifacts. You’ll learn about the history of cotton and the process of taking a seed to the creation of fabric as well as how the town’s ancestors lived and worked on the farm.

Corner of Hwy 55 (McKinley Street) and Jackson Street, Coats
(910) 897-5611 or (910) 897-8352
Open each Sunday from 2 pm – 5pm.

INSIDER TIP: Stop by Smiths Farm for some wood churned ice cream – You can also purchase homemade jellies and jams and fresh vegetables.

Located on Highway 55 East heading into Coats. 

coats store
ice_machine ice_cream

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