Coolmore is an antebellum mansion four miles west of Tarboro on Highway U.S. 64. A lantern cupola atop its roof distinguishes this Italianate villa, built between 1859 and 1861 for planter-physician Joseph J. W. Powell. Outbuildings, including a dairy, smokehouse, quarters for enslaved people, gas house, and stable, feature cupolas as well. Architect Edmund G. Lind of Baltimore built Coolmore, and Russian immigrant painter Ernst Dreyer decorated the interior plaster walls. Visitors to the mansion are drawn by these frescoes, the ornate plasterwork and marbling, and a hand-carved spiral stair leading to the cupola. Family and local lore maintains that the house was spared destruction by Union troops in April 1865 because one of the soldiers, an artisan from Maryland who had helped build it, saluted Coolmore.
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Bullock, J. Marshall and Bishir, Catherine W. "Lind, Edmund George (1829-1909)." North Carolina Architects and Builders: A Biographical Dictionary. North Carolina State University. 2009. http://ncarchitects.lib.ncsu.edu/people/P000050 (accessed October 8, 2012).
Sneed, Brandon. "Tarboro Tradition." Our State. March 2011 https://www.ourstate.com/coolmore-plantation/ (accessed October 8, 2012).
"Coolmore Plantation, Tarboro." Preservation North Carolina. http://www.presnc.org/About-Us/Coolmore-Plantation-Tarboro (accessed October 8, 2012).
EdgecombPlanter. "Coolmore Plantation, Edgecombe County, NC." Flickr.com. https://www.flickr.com/photos/edgecombeplanter/sets/72157625729963181/ (accessed October 8, 2012).
Coolmore. Photograph by Tim Buchman. Courtesy of Preservation North Carolina.
Stair in the rotunda of Coolmore. Photograph by Tim Buchman. Courtesy of Preservation North Carolina.
1 January 2006 | Simpson, Bland