Union Tavern

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Union Tavern
Union Tavern, Main Street between Lee Street & Farmer's Alley, Milton (Caswell County, North Carolina).jpg
Union Tavern
Union Tavern is located in North Carolina
Union Tavern
Union Tavern is located in the US
Union Tavern
Location Broad St., Milton, North Carolina
Coordinates 36°32′19″N 79°12′22.5″W / 36.53861°N 79.206250°W / 36.53861; -79.206250Coordinates: 36°32′19″N 79°12′22.5″W / 36.53861°N 79.206250°W / 36.53861; -79.206250
Area less than one acre
Built early 19th century
Architect Unknown
Architectural style Federal
Part of Milton Historic District (#73001306)
NRHP Reference # 75001245
Significant dates
Added to NRHP May 15, 1975[1]
Designated NHL May 15, 1975[2]
Designated CP October 25, 1973

Union Tavern is a historic tavern and workshop on Broad Street in Milton, North Carolina. It is a rare example of a well-preserved early 19th-century Federal period tavern, and is further notable as the workshop of Thomas Day (c. 1801-1861), a free person of color who was one of North Carolina's leading cabinetmakers. The building was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975.[2] It is located in the Milton Historic District.

Description and history[edit]

The Union Tavern is located in the center of the rural community of Milton, on the south side of Broad Street (North Carolina Highway 57), between Palmer's Alley and Ler's Alley. It is a 2-1/2 story brick structure, set close to the road, with a gabled roof. Its front facade is six bays wide, with three entrances, each set in a round-arch opening with a fanlight above. Windows are rectangular sash, with stone sills and brick lintels. An enclosed single-story porch extends across the left (east) side, and there is a single-story ell to the rear. The interior of the building has retained some of its original features, despite repeated alteration of the rooms for different uses.[3]

Thomas Day was born in Virginia in 1801, a free person of color. By 1818 he had begun to work as a cabinetmaker, and in 1823 he moved to Milton, where he purchased and adapted this building as his studio and workshop. His skill as a craftsman was widely regarded: he catered to North Carolina's wealthiest residents, and was by mid-century operating the state's largest workshop. He was notable for training white apprentices, other free blacks, and the slaves of nearby slaveholders, and for his own ownership of slaves. When he married a free woman from Virginia, the state legislature exempted her from the state's ban on the entry of free blacks after he threatened to move. He is also said to have done the woodwork in the local church, on condition that he be permitted to sit in the area normally reserved to whites.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b "Union Tavern". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  3. ^ a b "NHL nomination for Union Tavern" (PDF). North Carolina SHPO. Retrieved 2016-01-18. 

External links[edit]