We've been around for awhile. Since 1733, to be exact. You'll realize this as you wander through North Carolina's largest historic district and around our truly-incomparable town common. There's more to the story, though: honor our American heroes at the Veterans' Museum, admire the triumphs of our African American community, and watch the past and present merge while shopping downtown. Historic treasures are never far away here in Tarboro!
Blount-Bridgers House & Arboretum
A Tarboro centerpiece, the Blount-Bridgers House was built in 1808 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It served as the final home of Thomas Blount, a Continental Army officer from the Revolutionary War. Today, the Blount-Bridgers House holds an art gallery featuring wonderful collections from local craftsmen. Outside, wander through the exquisite grounds and take some notes for your home garden. You'll be impressed!
Address: 130 Bridgers Street
Hours: Mon-Tue Closed, Wed-Sat 10:00-4:00, Sun 2:00-4:00; Arboretum always open
Calvary Church Graveyard & Arboretum
Few towns can boast of a masterpiece like Calvary Episcopal Church! The chapel was built in 1868 with unmatched Gothic Revival architecture, and hosts some of the most elaborate stained glass windows in Eastern North Carolina. Even more stunning is the surrounding graveyard, which was designed by the Reverend Joseph Blount Cheshire. A professional arborist, he planted a mixture of exotic and native trees including English yews, live oaks, Japanese magnolias, American holly, Chinese fir trees, a gnarly old cork tree from Spain, camellias, azaleas, sweet holly, and boxwoods. Come roam through the graveyard and you'll no doubt be enchanted!
Address: 411 East Church Street
North Carolina's last original cotton press sits right here in Tarboro, as it has since 1860! This press has served multiple functions in town. Mules and oxen once made cotton bales using it, until inventive residents started crushing fruit in the press to make ciders and wine. While inactive today, the cotton press is an awesome place to catch a glimpse into the lives of farmers over a century ago.
Address: 799 Albemarle Avenue
Edgecombe County Veterans' Military Museum
In Tarboro, we love and honor our vets! The Edgecombe County Veterans' Museum houses an extensive array of artifacts and military uniforms from the Revolutionary War all the way up to the War in Iraq. Impressively, the museum's entire collection was donated by Edgecombe County veterans or their families. We'll never forget the contributions of those who serve. Visit the Veterans' Museum, and neither will you!
Address: 106 West Church Street
Hours: Mon-Wed Closed, Thu-Sat 10:00-4:00, Sun Closed
Tarboro's 45-block historic district, the largest in North Carolina, boasts over 300 structures from the 1700s onward. Five buildings from the 18th century remain, with the oldest being the Archibald White House from 1785. An additional 24 Antebellum homes stand strong in the district. The largest collection includes Victorian, Second Empire, Neoclassical Revival, and Arts & Crafts style structures from the late 1800s and early 1900s. Elegant columns, intricate trim, distinctive porches, charming bay windows, dramatic cupolas...there's so much to admire. Relax and take a stroll through. You'll never want to leave!
Location: Between Albemarle Avenue to the west, Walnut Street to the north, Panola Street to the east, and the Tar River to the south
*The bulk of the district is found directly north of the Tarboro Town Common
The past and the present merge along Tarboro's Main Street! We're proud to have one of the most successful downtowns in Eastern North Carolina, and are convinced that its best days are yet to come. Fine dining? We've got you covered! Boutiques? Check! Artisanal bakery? Got that, too! Browse through records and comic books, go antique hunting, or just sit back and enjoy a hot coffee or a cold craft beer. It's all here, just five minutes off the highway. What are you waiting for?
*We have a separate page for Where to Eat and Where to Shop downtown
Old Town Cemetery
Dating back to 1790, Old Town Cemetery has countless stories to tell. Among them are the graves of Confederate soldiers who died in a makeshift hospital on the town common. Union soldiers were also - temporarily - laid to rest here, until families claimed their remains following the Civil War. From 1790 onward, Old Town Cemetery offers a fascinating chronicling of some of the people who made Tarboro what it is today.
Address: 303 East St. James Street
Our neighbors right across the Tar River, Princeville has quite the story to tell! As the first town in the United States incorporated by African Americans, "Freedom Hill" came to be a successful beacon of resistance against discriminatory ways. More recently, tragedy struck as Princeville was submerged under the floodwaters of Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Through it all, though, Princeville stands strong. Learn more about the spirit and determination of the town at its museum, just minutes from downtown Tarboro!
Address: 310 Mutual Boulevard, Princeville NC 27886
Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00-5:00, Sat-Sun Closed
There's only two original town commons remaining in the United States. One's in Boston, and the other is here in Tarboro! First laid out in 1760, its oak-shaded lawn is the perfect place to relax. Bring a book, or better yet, pack a picnic and enjoy the picturesque surrounds. Lining the town common are stately homes built between 1890 and 1910. When you see how spectacular it is, you'll hardly believe it was originally used for livestock grazing and military drills!
Location: Between Albemarle Avenue to the west, Park Avenue to the north, Panola Street to the east, and Wilson Street to the south
*Information on town common upkeep and conditions can be found here