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Thomas Day Trip to Milton and Caswell County
July 29 @ 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
This event is postponed and will be rescheduled to a later time.
Departure 8:30 am with Return to Greensboro by 4:30 pm
The ticket price includes transportation, lunch, gratuity, and a special event)
Join us to explore the artistry and architecture of Thomas Day in the county and town in which he lived. Our tour will include exploring houses featuring interior architectural elements and furniture attributed to Day along with a tour of Milton’s Union Tavern, the site of Day’s workshop. Founded in 1796 as a tobacco and flour inspection town, Milton was North Carolina’s river town answer to Danville, Virginia. Business boomed throughout Caswell County with the breakthrough of the bright leaf tobacco curing process in 1839. Thomas Day moved to Milton in 1827 at the age of 26, and his acclaim grew with the Bright Leaf Boom of the 1840s and 1850s. His manufacturing enterprise enjoyed its most prosperous years in Milton’s Union Tavern between 1848 and the Civil War. The current display at Blandwood dovetails nicely with this Thomas Day and Caswell County tour theme.
Our tour will begin with the Wemple-Shelton House, a residential structure built 1843-1845 in the Greek Revival style. Considering the fine quality of material and design, the house is attributed to Thomas Day, and today is furnished with a collection of many pieces attributed to Thomas Day. This is the first time the house has been opened to the public since its purchase through Preservation North Carolina and subsequent thorough restoration.
Our tour will move to Milton and includes sites familiar to Day and important to Black history, including the High Street Baptist Church, the Milton Baptist Church, and the Union Tavern. The Union Tavern was erected around 1818. Thomas Day moved to Milton in 1827 at the age of 26, and in 1848 he purchased the former tavern and added a large frame addition to serve as his residence and shop. Though the building suffered a devastating fire in 1989, it was saved through the work of Preservation North Carolina and today is in the process of becoming North Carolina’s newest Historic Site. Join us at our Annual Meeting on September 14 to learn more about these exciting plans by Dr. Darin Waters, North Carolina’s Deputy Secretary for the Office of Archives and History over State Historic Sites!
Our tour will end at the c.1850 Holderness House, a two-story frame plantation house with distinctive interior woodwork attributed to Thomas Day. The entrance hall and flanking formal rooms are the most splendid, with a bold Day-style staircase, a fiddle-head newel post, and Neoclassically-inspired mantels. This house has enjoyed recent restoration work, bringing new life to this important National Register property.