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This new museum opened in 2010 in a convenient location on Main Street with new exhibits to intrepret the history of the Benson community and surrounding farming areas of McGee's Crossroads, Elevation and Meadow Township.

Visitors to the museum will find several "rooms" of artifacts based on the following themes:

  • History of Benson, the town and founding families
  • The coming of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad
  • Merchants of Benson & Country Store
  • Military History - Spanish American War to World War II
  • Country Doctor's Exhibit
  • Farming Exhibits:· Equipment, Home Life, Cotton, Tobacco, Turpentine
  • Benson Schools and Principals
  • Working in the Kitchen
  • Working in the Home
  • Benson Singing Convention
  • Benson Mule Days
  • Local Benson Artists

Hours of operation: Wed-Thurs 11am-3pm, Fri-Sat 10am-3:30pm

102 W. Main St.
Benson, NC 27504




The Coats Estate consists of a country home, a museum, and a bell tower located in McGee’s Crossroads community in western Johnston County. The museum displays collections of Mr. R. F. (Tink) Coats, and wife Addie Coats.

This collection includes items of local interest, textiles, books, farm equipment, and artifacts depicting rural farm living. Of particular interest is a bell tower created by Mr. Coats from his personal collection of over 60 bells of various sizes, including train bells, fire bells, and church bells. The largest bell is 44 inches in diameter and weighs more than one-half ton. The country home, includes heirlooms of the Coats family, and is available for community events for a small rental fee. Special tours may be arranged for groups at no charge.The museum is opened by appointments only.

Each year on July 4th the McGee’s Crossroads Community Club hosts a public celebration of Independence Day with a “Ringing-of-the-Bells.” Attendees are invited to help ring the bells at 12:00 noon, and to enjoy complimentary refreshments.

3317 Old Fairground Rd.
Angier, NC 27501
McGee's Crossroads Area


Directions: From McGee’s Crossroads (NC50/210) go west on NC 210 to first crossroads; go left on Old Fairground Rd, watch for Bell tower, Museum and Coats House on the left.


235-A East Market Street
Smithfield, North Carolina 27577

tel 919.989.8687  |  fax 919.989.6295
toll free 1.800.441.7829


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Johnston County, North Carolina on TripAdvisor.

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