Hey Y'all ! Hope you're doing well. I've just started a photography project of visiting small towns in eastern North Carolina and learning about them and photographing them. Today I want to talk about a little charming town located on the Tar River. Tarboro. Like most of the little towns I'm going to explore this one was incorporated before the revolutionary war in 1760. It like many towns in the eastern US boast that George Washington slept here and he did in 1791. Being in the bible belt there are many beautiful Churches and buildings in Tarboro. Now I'm no expert on Tarboro and don't claim to be I'm just learning about this little town. With a population around 10,000 this little town is twice the size of the one I grew up in. So I know small town charm and this town has it. It boast to have one of two "original" Town Commons. The other being in Boston. So if that's true I've been to both of them! Pretty cool. It was considered an inland port up to the Civil War. Farmers would bring their Cotton, Tobacco and other wares to be shipped on steam boats to coastal ports to be shipped around the world. Located in Edgecombe County it is its county seat and has a large and beautiful Courthouse. Now about what I saw on my first trip there.
My wife accompanied me on this trip this first week of January. It was cool and crisp morning with temps around 40 degrees. We started early because I wanted to get good light to shoot in. It was an hour long drive there and by the time we arrived the sun had come up and the little towns people were just starting to stir. Not knowing the town and doing just a little research we kind of did a drive through the town to see where we would start from. We saw a big mural right beside the visitors center and parked there . From there we headed toward the Town Commons. I don't know how many acres this is but it's pretty big for a small town. It is speckled with monuments and park benches . Looks like a great place to have a picnic. But not today it was too chilly to stand or sit still long. Along the Town Commons are victorian style houses all kept up well. We walked down the sidewalk enjoying the views. It reminded me much of the town I grew up in. We walked down the side walks toward downtown and the Courthouse stopping along the way to take photo's of interesting buildings and houses. We stopped by a couple of churches that had very unique buildings with large steeples and bell towers. Along main street the concrete sidewalks have been replaced by brick giving it that old time look and feel. Lots of small shops and restaurants line the streets. Looks like the main street businesses in town are still alive and well with very few vacancies of shops or buildings. Many small towns have died with the coming of strip malls and shopping centers but this little town still has charm and vibrance. We made our way back to our car taking photo's of the Colonial Movie theater and Murals along the way. We parked by what said was the visitor center. We went into what we thought was a manned visitor center but was really just a hall in the public building filled with brochures and pamphlets and maps. It was nice and warm inside so we looked and gathered more materials for research. We got in the car and made a quick trip to a nearby McDonalds for a bathroom and coffee break. Important things for folks our age. There was a Local Coffee shop that we didn't stop by maybe on our next trip when it's warmer. After our break we headed to the Blount-Bridgers House and Arboretum. The house was built in 1808 and kept up pretty well. A retirement home of a Revolutionary war Officer. There are walking trails that take you through the town and you can hear the history of the buildings and history of the town via your smart phone. We were planning on taking one of these walks (2 miles) but when we stepped out of the car the wind was howling and it being 40 degrees we decided to do this walk another day when it warmer. We decided to cut our trip short but I will definitely come back in the spring or summer to this charming town. I am looking forward to returning to Tarboro and exploring the historic district even more. There is an old church and graveyard I want to explore and the riverfront area that we didn't get a chance to see on this trip. If your out and about and need somewhere to go , checkout this charming little town on the Tar river.
Gear for this project I'm trying to keep very simple I'm using one camera and one lens. My Sony A7III and a 24-105mm lens. This combo should cover all of my needs for checking out these cities. If I decide I need something more I will make a return trip with the gear I need. I'm trying to keep my kit light so I can enjoy my exploring and keeping it to one lens so I don't even have to think about what lens to use because I've only brought one. Just a filter or two and a small Platypod stand that I can use to set my camera on for longer exposures if needed. All of this fits into a sling bag that I can throw across my shoulders and go. I'm trying to keep it simple for this photo project.
Until our next adventure get out and shoot!