Join Preservation North Carolina at Union Tavern in Milton, NC, on May 23 to celebrate the publication of Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color.
Copies of the book will be available for sale, and co-authors Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll and Patricia Phillips Marshall will be on hand to discuss their work and sign books from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Visitors will also have a chance to see examples of Day’s fine craftsmanship in its original settings at Union Tavern, Milton Presbyterian Church and other sites.
Woodworker Thomas Day was a free black man who broke barriers of race and class throughout his life in the antebellum South. Born in Virginia in 1801, Day established himself as a young cabinetmaker in Milton, where he carved out a successful business serving clients from Virginia to Georgia. Governors, business magnates, and trustees for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill commissioned Day’s designs for furnishings and architectural woodwork.
Day earned a national reputation working in mahogany, poplar, pine and other woods, and his unique designs are found in many buildings of Federal, Gothic and other styles of the period. Day also built the pews at the Milton Presbyterian Church, where he and his wife, Aquilla Wilson, worshiped. In 1975, Day’s home—known as Union Tavern—was named a National Historic Landmark and is being preserved and restored by members of Thomas Day House/Union Tavern Restoration Inc.
The May 23 event is co-sponsored by Thomas Day House/Union Tavern Restoration and the N.C. Museum of History, whose exhibit “Beneath the Veneer: Thomas Day Cabinetmaker,” opens Saturday, May 22, in Raleigh.
For more information about The Historic Preservation of North Carolina visit www.presnc.org