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5 Fuquay Varina Museums You Don’t Want to Miss!

Fuquay Varina has something for everyone—parks and trails, downtown shops and restaurants, fun events and celebrations, and yes, museums! In fact, the Fuquay Varina Museum System hosts a complex of five local museums, and there’s a sixth in the works!

Here’s a little more about each of Fuquay Varina’s museums.

The First Fuquay Post Office

photo of the first fuquay post office
Photo courtesy fuquay-varina-museums.org

This quaint little building was provided by Hattie Parker Jones, the first postmaster (actually a post-mistress!) of Fuquay-Springs in 1902 and originally stood at the depot on Depot Street. It was later donated by the Jones family and restored and furnished by Fuquay Springs Questers. Today, visitors can see how mail was handled in the early 1900s and learn more about Hattie.

“Squire” Ballentine Schoolhouse

fuquay varina schoolhouse museum
Photo courtesy fuquay-varina-museums.org

In the late 1800s, this little building served as a school (and later a cottage) near Mineral Spring. Thought to have been initially provided by JD Ballentine, the two-room building was later donated to the town by the Aiken family to serve as a testimonial to school days past.

Today, visitors can explore old relics of education, such as the first diploma from the Fuquay Springs High School and a portrait of the first principal of Fuquay Consolidated High School. It’s also a popular way to give students a look at “the way it was back then”—lashings and all!

The Centennial Museum

Inside the fuquay varina centennial museum
Photo courtesy fuquay-varina-museums.org

The Centennial Museum opened in 2009 as part of Fuquay Varina’s 100 Year Celebration (hence the name), though the municipal building in which it resides dates back to the 1950s. Housed within the museum are relics of the town’s rich history—pieces from railroad days, from the spring, from the tobacco industry, and more.

Visitors to the museum can learn more about the early railroad doctor, JM Judd, see artifacts from Elliotts Pharmacy, and tour relics of the Police Department, Fire Department, and Rescue Squad.

The Tobacco Barn

Fuquay Varina tobacco barn museum
Photo courtesy fuquay-varina-museums.org

Learn the story of tobacco farming around Fuquay Varina at this 100-year-old tobacco barn. Though the barn has been dismantled, moved, and reconstructed, the history surrounding it remains very much alive. The barn, in addition to a “Ghost Farmers” sculpture, and a sundial column, paint a picture of life in southern Wake County in days long-since past.

The Johnson Playhouse

charming log cabin playhouse in fuquay varina
Photo courtesy fuquay-varina-museums.org

No, it’s not a theatre; it’s actually a tiny log cabin playhouse originally given to would-be postmistress Hettie Johnston by her father, Woodrow Johnson. In the days of its youth, the cabin sat near Mineral Spring, but today, this artifact to old-time playdays is filled with toys from the past. Children will be awed, and adults just might just find themselves on a trip down memory lane.

Coming Soon: Norfolk Southern Caboose

red caboose museum in fuquay varina

This old railroad caboose was rescued and restored because it ran through Fuquay Varina during the railroad hayday, and it will one day be joined by the reconstructed first depot. This little red caboose was originally purchased by Norfolk Southern Railroad in 1940, and today, it is used to educate the public on the importance of the town’s railroad history.

Though currently unavailable for tours, the Caboose is still a charming sight from the outside!

Touring the Fuquay Varina Museum Complex

touring the Fuquay Varina museums complex
Photo courtesy fuquay-varina-museums.org

The museum complex is located one block off Main Street at 131 South Fuquay Ave. Docents are on duty for tours on Mondays from 10am – 1pm and Wednesdays from 1pm – 4pm. Tours are also available by special request and on festival days.

When touring the museums, it’s recommended that you start at the Centennial Museum, as this is typically the only staffed building and the best place to connect with a docent. Admission to all museums is free and parking is readily available. There are also a number of shops and restaurants nearby in Downtown Fuquay.

Ready to Come Have Some Fun in Fuquay Varina?

Are you thinking of relocating to or buying a home in Fuquay Varina? Then it’s time to contact Ann Milton Realty. We’re here to help show you around, search homes for sale, and successfully find the home of your dreams!

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