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1. Tarboro Tour

Description

This tour will take the tour participants to the historic town of Tarboro.

Tarboro
Chartered in 1760, Tarboro has one of only two original town commons left in the United States. Its original purpose was a gathering place for the pursuit of pastoral interests. Livestock grazed there. Militias practiced their drills on its grassy yard. During the Civil War, many a Yankee soldier found himself in a stockade on its green. Today, the 15-acre Town Common is a sweeping green centerpiece for Tarboro’s Historic District, a 45-block restored residential area that’s home to many “grand old ladies” – colonial, antebellum and Victorian homes dressed up with elegant columns, ornate gingerbread, stately porticos, soaring chimneys, bay windows and – of course – porches of every size and description.
Coolmore Plantation
Just outside Tarboro sits one of North Carolina's finest antebellum complexes. Coolmore Plantation, built 1858–60, is a splendid Italianate villa designed by Baltimore architect E. G. Lind for J.J.W. and Martha Powell. The main house contains room after room of original furniture and exhibits elaborate plasterwork and a comprehensive scheme of decorative painting. A suite of picturesque outbuildings mirror the Italianate style of the main house.
 
1808 Blount-Bridger’s House

The architecturally significant Blount-Bridger’s House is gallery to the artwork of nationally celebrated Edgecombe County artist Hobson Pittman, as well as furnishings and artifacts that reveal the county’s 250-year-old heritage

 
 
1840 Cotton Press

Mules and oxen carved well-worn trails turning cotton into bales or crushing fruit for cider or wine. This press from an Edgecombe County farm is the last of its kind in North Carolina and was moved to the Town Common in the early 20th century before being restored.

 
 

Edgecombe County Veteran’s Military Museum

To honor the men and women from Edgecombe County who served their country, exhibits in this museum recall the American Revolution, Civil War, and World Wars I and II.

 
Calvary Episcopal  Churchyard 

Calvary churchyard’s design and original plantings are the work of Joseph Blount Cheshire, rector of Calvary from 1842 until 1889. Dr. Cheshire had a love for plants and a vision of what the churchyard could look like. When he started, the only plants in the churchyard were the cedar tree by the Cotton Vault and a white rose bush. He wrote missionaries all over the world to send him seeds, cuttings and plants, and he also dug native plants from the roadside. The result is an abundance of rare and costly plants representing almost every corner of the globe. Dr. Cheshire paid for all of it personally.

The churchyard is divided into four quadrants, and its two acres are enclosed by a brick wall given in 1926 in memory of the Pender family. Brick and gravel paths meander throughout. Some of the more interesting trees are the Cork Oak (quercus prinus), which Dr. Cheshire grew from an acorn from Spain; Magnolias (magnolia grandiflora and macrophylla); Dedora Cedars (cedrus deodara); Incense Cedar (calocedrus decurrnes); English boxwoods; Camellias; Buckeye (aesculus glabra); Ginkgo (ginko biloba); Osage Orange (maclura pomifera); Bald Cypress (taxodium disticum); Yews (taxus baccata) and a North Carolina Champion Big Tree. The ever-growing ivy came from Kenilworth Castle in England.