In Shop Blog, Woodworking Blogs

We may receive a commission when you use our affiliate links. However, this does not impact our recommendations.

The Thomas Day House/Union Tavern in Milton, N.C.

The Thomas Day House/Union Tavern in Milton, N.C.

Come to North Carolina a day early for Woodworking in America (the conference is Sept, 12-14 in Winston-Salem, N.C.) and make plans to visit the Thomas Day House/Union Tavern (a National Historic Landmark) in Milton, N.C. between 1-5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept 11.

Jerome Bias (who is speaking in Day and his work at the annual woodworking conference) has organized special tours to introduce you to Day’s home and shop, and give you a preview of his WIA talk.

Day was a free African-American man born around the turn of the 19th century in Virginia; he moved to Milton, N.C., in 1823, and opened a cabinet shop that would become one of the most successful in the state (he moved to the Union Tavern location in 1848). He made furniture and architectural woodwork for many leading citizens, including the governor. Recently, Day’s work has  been displayed in a number of prominent venues, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the North Carolina Museum of History (where you’ll find a statue of Day in front of the museum).

Jerome Bias

Jerome Bias

And if you can’t make it to the tour and WIA (and actually, even if you can/will), I urge you to read Jerome’s article, “Thomas Day” (it’s free on our site).

Day’s life story launched Jerome on a new career path, and led him to where he is today. (Among other things (he’s a bit of a polymath), Jerome now works part time as a historical interpreter at Old Salem Museum & Gardens, where he makes furniture for the living history museum, plus he builds custom furniture in his own shop. He’s also on the board of directors at Historic Stagville, and works with Crafting Freedom, an organization that helps to integrate lessons from traditional crafts and African-American craftspeople into school curricula.)

— Megan Fitzpatrick



Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.

Recent Posts
  • David

    I just left Winston after 6 yrs…here are some recommended local establishments while in the area:::

    -The Winkler bakery (old salem) – fresh bread and cookies. Need I say more?
    -Krankies coffee – ABSOLUTE BEST coffee around. Roasted in house. (corner of 3rd and railroad tracks)
    -Blacksmith shop
    -Salem tavern
    -Finnigans Wake – Irish pub with plenty of taps featuring smaller brews (trade st)
    -Meridian for a fine meal
    -4th street filling station, Mozelles, Bernardins – another good spot – 1/2 mile walk (4th & brookstown)

    4th street and Trade street are the 2 areas downtown to get a bite and beverage. It is a safe downtown – not too busy but good places to go. Billiard hall on 4th is a fun place.

    I was hoping to make it back to see pals and the show but I start MBA school that week.

    Next time!

    Make shavings!


Start typing and press Enter to search

Anatomy of a try square