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Historic Union Tavern in Milton Open May 23 For Book Signing

Union Tavern Milton NC Preservation North Carolina

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.

The book Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color will be released by the University of North Carolina Press on May 22. Co-authors Patricia Phillips Marshall and Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll explore the life and legacy of this accomplished artisan and entrepreneur from Milton, Caswell County.

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

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2 Responses

  1. Here’s a perfect Sunday afternoon outing for art, architecture and preservaiton fans! Visit Milton to see, touch and experience the places where Thomas Day lived and worked.
    A unique man in a unique time in American history – perhaps the progenitor of NC’s famous furniture making tradition…
    This event is free — of course, the authors and sponsors hope you’ll be inspired to buy the book!!

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