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“Surprisingly good museum”
Review of Duke Homestead

Duke Homestead
Ranked #13 of 87 things to do in Durham
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: At Duke Homestead, visitors can tour the early home, factories, and farm where Washington Duke first grew and processed tobacco. Duke's sons later founded The American Tobacco Company, the largest tobacco company in the world. The Dukes became one of the wealthiest families in the country at the turn of the 20th century and now lend their name to Duke University, Duke Energy, and the Duke Endowment.Duke Homestead offers an orientation film twice an hour, an extensive tobacco museum, and guided tours of the surviving historical structures on the grounds. Among these structures are early Bright Leaf tobacco barns, Washington Duke's first and third factories, and his 1852 homestead.The museum contains exhibits regarding tobacco farming, manufacturing, and marketing. Annual events include an Herb, Garden, and Craft Festival in June; Pork, Pickles and Peanuts: Tastes of North Carolina festival in July; a summer children's festival in August; the Tobacco Harvest Festival and Mock Tobacco Auction in September; and Christmas by Candlelight programs in December.
Reviewed 9 February 2014

Some visiting relatives and myself went to the Duke Homestead, as they had seen many of the other attractions in the area before. We thought it would be like an hour and go, but we were pleasantly surprised and stayed longer. There's a fixed exhibit on tobacco growing and the Duke family, supplemented by a 15-min video, and an hour-long guided tour of the grounds. Our tour guide was knowledgeable and enthusiastic, making the tour a real learning experience. Well worth the trip!

There's also seasonal exhibits (e.g. demonstrations of the tobacco-growing and processing) throughout the year, so I hope to return for one.

And it's free!

1  Thank andybond13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"tobacco industry"
in 28 reviews
"tobacco museum"
in 12 reviews
"guided tour"
in 18 reviews
"north carolina"
in 12 reviews
"interesting history"
in 7 reviews
"extensive museum"
in 3 reviews
"historic sites"
in 4 reviews
"american tobacco"
in 9 reviews
"different buildings"
in 2 reviews
"civil war"
in 8 reviews
"small farm"
in 2 reviews
"great history lesson"
in 2 reviews
"self guided"
in 2 reviews
"the barn"
in 2 reviews
"picnic area"
in 2 reviews
"worth a stop"
in 2 reviews
"the raleigh durham area"
in 2 reviews
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86 - 90 of 135 reviews

Reviewed 4 December 2013

The museum and tour highlight a critical part of the area's history. Seeing the manufacturing machines in the museum was interesting along with the old TV ads for cigarettes.

The tour shows how the Dukes started with pipe tobacco and moved up from there. The grounds and buildings were well maintained.

If you are looking for a day trip destination with kids, it is worth spends a couple of hours here.

Thank trusted-advice-1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2013

Well organised and with nice displays you learn a lot about Durham and the environment and life as it used to be at the beginning of the last century.

Thank Ruud J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2013

The displays were very good. Having been rather knowledge challenged on the subject of tobacco growing and harvesting, I learned a lot. The video was very interesting. It's always nice to see an 1850's home and the furnishings. Our guide took us to the tobacco factory on the property and showed us how the leaf was flailed and sifted. This is something that I had never seen before. The setting is gorgeous and very peaceful. The walk from the visitors center to the farm's buildings goes through a peaceful wooded area. Watch your footing on the farm. There are lots of roots to stumble on!

Thank Johnson747
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 9 September 2013

we had a group of 10 and varied ages. You can really learn a great deal about the growing, processing and selling of tobacco. The Homestead itself is interesting to see but if you only have time to tour the Museum, then it is worth the visit. It is free but donations are accepted. Great gift shop. Easy walking tour.

Thank channingway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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