Welcome to the Thomas Day/Union Tavern website! The primary mission of the TDH/UTR is to preserve the legacy of free black cabinetmaker, Thomas Day. Thomas Day House is open as a museum, showcasing Day's craftsmanship and offering tours, educational seminars, town functions and more. Our non-profit organization continues it's mission of restoration funded through membership dues, grants, fundraisers and donations.
A free black born circa 1801 near Emporia, Virginia, Thomas Day came to Milton in Caswell County, North Carolina in 1823. He opened a cabinet shop and built furniture according to the popular designs of the time. He made furniture for NC Governor David S. Reid and for other leading citizens of the state. A collection of his furniture, including many of the Reid pieces, is on permanent display at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. At the height of his career, he was said to be one of the top four furniture makers in the state.
The Thomas Day House/Union Tavern Restoration, INC celebrated their annual meeting on Sunday, May 18, 2014 at the Milton Woman’s Club. Many members attended and after a scrumptious dinner provided by Jim Harris of Roxboro we were delighted by our keynote speaker, Dr. Lindley Butler, retired Professor Emeritus of Rockingham Community College. He is also one of the founders for the Dan River Foundation.
The presentation included information about the Dan River Batteau Navigation Trail, “Paddle Through History”. He also highlighted information on the current Duke Power Coal Ash Spill in the Dan River and its impact. He also thanked Senator Mike Woodward for being the catalyst in having Milton monitored on this incident.
Our Vice President, Joe Graves spoke on the upcoming Milton Street Fair (June) and the play presented by PearlDelmar/The Milton Project in August. The traveling bookcase was presented.
Our evening concluded with a tour of the Thomas Day Tavern and the new restroom. The door prize was won by Mr. Jack Williams of Milton.
We want to thank everyone for their support and participation.
A workshop on Thomas Day’s techniques and processes in furniture making will be held by Jerome Bias and Joe Graves. Attendees will have a better understanding of how to attribute furniture to Thomas Day’s shop and/or the ”Thomas Day school of cabinet makers”. This workshop is a part of the three day “Milton Street Fair” scheduled for June 20 – 22.
On September 22nd, 7 brothers and sisters, all descendants of Thomas Day, met in Milton to attend the Milton Presbyterian Church and tour the Thomas Day House. When asked how it felt to sit in the pews that Tom Day had built in the early 1800's, the overwhelming response was, "Very emotional."