Edgecombe Arts Gift Shop

The Blount-Bridgers House museum shop has great hand-made crafts, prints, paintings, pottery, notecards and books - all by local and regional artists.

Personal checks, Visa, Mastercard and Discover accepted.

Limited-Edition Prints
Baron Richard Edgcumbe's Coat of Arms

Heirloom quality, limited-edition print (250) of Baron Richard Edgcumbe's Coat of Arms on heavy, acid-free paper copied directly from an original copperplate engraving published in Alexander Jacob's A Complete English Peerage, London, 1766-1769, and colored to Jacob's specifications. The 16" x 20" display mat is backed with acid-free liner. Edgecombe County, N.C. was created by the Colonial Legislature in 1741, and is named for the first Baron Richard Edgcumbe. The limited-edition prints are available for sale in the Blount-Bridgers House gift shop for $45.00 (including tax). Proceeds from sales are for the benefit of the Blount-Bridgers House Foundation, Inc., which commemorates the 250th birthday of the Town of Tarboro (1760-2010) with this unique collectors' opportunity.

The original copperplate engraving was made available through the generosity of former Blount-Bridgers House Foundation president Watson Brown.

Tarboro Common

Limited-edition print, signed by the artist, of J. Chris Wilson's painting Tarboro Common, part of his series Murphy to Manteo - An Artist's Scenic Journey.


In the words of the artist - I have been painting the North Carolina landscape for more than 35 years. The current body of work is “Murphy to Manteo—An Artist’s Scenic Journey” and began to take shape as a series more than a decade ago. As Murphy to Manteo has become synonymous meaning “all of North Carolina,” the ultimate objective is to produce 100 large oil paintings that are a comprehensive portrait painting of the North Carolina scenic landscape along the 563 miles of the US 64 corridor from the mountains to the sea. The project evolved as a result of becoming interested in serial landscape images while living and teaching at a university in Japan. I then began to see the entire state as potential subject matter as a result of exhibiting landscape paintings including cotton fields in the, then, Lieutenant Governor, now Governor, Bev Perdue’s office. I was also seeking new and varied compositional strategies while striving to emphasize a personal voice in the post-abstract Southern Realist tradition.

This 19" x 13 1/2" print, mounted on a white mat, sells for $65.00. The 72" x 48" original is on exhibit in the lobby of the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh through 2013 along with other paintings from the "Murphy to Manteo - An Artist's Scenic Journey" series.

Books on Local History
Potter’s Raid

Potter’s Raid is the first book-length look at the major Potters_Raid.jpg event of the Civil War in the Tar River region. Brigadier General Edward E. Potter led about eight hundred Union soldiers from New Bern on a slashing five-day raid against Greenville, Tarboro, and Rocky Mount, from July 18-23, 1863.

The raiders destroyed an estimated $5,000,000 worth of property: at Rocky Mount, the original Rocky Mount Mills, the Tar River railroad bridge and a train; at Tarboro, two steamboats and a partially built Confederate Navy gunboat; and great amounts of army supplies and ammunition. The 200-mile expedition involved some narrow escapes and several small skirmishes in Craven, Pitt, Edgecombe, and Greene Counties. Particular attention is given to a sharp fight at Daniel’s Schoolhouse outside of Tarboro on July 20, 1863 that cost Potter the lives of seven of his men.

The narrative is followed from the points of view of the Union cavalrymen on the raid, the Confederate soldiers who pursued and opposed them, and the civilians who were caught in the middle. The voices of dozens of soldiers and civilians, speaking through contemporary letters, diaries, David_Norris.jpg newspaper articles, and official army reports, help bring the story of Potter’s Raid to a modern audience.

Author David A. Norris is a graduate of East Carolina University. He lived in Greenville for many years, where he became interested in the Coastal Plain’s Civil War history. He has written over three hundred published magazine and encyclopedia articles, mainly on historical subjects.

Potter’s Raid is published by Dram Tree Books of Wilmington, North Carolina. The retail price of the thoroughly footnoted and indexed book is $24.95.

Henry Toole Clark

R. Matthew Poteat,Henry_Toole_Clark.jpg an assistant professor of history at Central Virginia Community College, has written the first in-depth biography of Henry Toole Clark, a governor of North Carolina during the Civil War. The book is published by McFarland & Company, Inc, a leading publisher of scholarly and reference books in the United States. The biography explores Clark’s positionR_Matthew_Poteat.jpg as a member of the planter elite, his role during the war, his slaveholding business, and his career during Reconstruction.

Poteat has written a number of articles and reviews for scholarly journals, including The North Carolina Historical Review and Shenandoah: the Washington and Lee University Review. In 2007 he was awarded the Archie K. Davis Fellowship for his ongoing research on Governor Clark.

The author lives in Staunton, Virginia, with his wife, Katherine Turner, an English professor at Mary Baldwin College.

The 200+ page book, Henry Toole Clark, is available for $39.95.

Amongst Immortals Raging

Amongst_Immortals_Raging.jpgAmongst Immortals Raging is the story of Gettysburg’s third day as never told before. Written in prose poetry form, the book is a lyrical portal through which readers might stand shoulder to shoulder with the valiant men who shaped July 3, 1863, with their bravery and blood.

All forty-five poems are written in the first person, placing the reader in the midst of the battle, among the strategies of the leaders, the doubts of the soldiers, the fear and frustration of all those who experienced that tragic day.

“Truly one has to wonder, where did men of such monumental bravery come from? My story seeks to provide the answer: they came from a time of profound Christian faith, from a world where men did not pay mere lip service to their beliefs, but lived them in the very core of their beings” says author Marshall Conyers of Wilson.

The 100+ page hardback Amongst Immortals Raging sells for $20.00.

Mabry Bass’s Tarboro from 1950-1990

A favorite, Mabry Bass’s Tarboro from 1950-1990, includes forty years of Tarboro and Edgecombe County history as seen through the eyes of Mabry Bass Jr., editor of The Daily Southerner. The last half of the century unfolds with stories about citizens, politicians and even a few criminals. The book contains several newspaper articles about Tarboro at the beginning of the twentieth century by Bass’s uncle Dr. Spencer P. Bass.

Mabry Bass’s Tarboro from 1950-1990 at 450+ pages and with a treasure of early photographs sells for $19.95.

Images of America

Monika Fleming’s series of local history books, part of the Images of America series, includes four very popular books filled with her research into the history of Edgecombe and neighboring counties:

Echoes of Edgecombe County 1860-1940 - $19.99
Edgecombe County: Volume II - $16.99
Edgecombe County: Along the Tar River - $25.00
Rocky Mount and Nash County - $19.99
Working In Light

Tarboro native Roberta Cashwell’s first novel is Working In Light. Cashwell returned to Tarboro following an extensive career as a writer and actress. A graduate of Vassar College, the Graduate Creative Writing Program of Boston University, and the Dallas Theater Center, she has performed in Dallas and New York City. Her plays have been performed in Texas, Pennsylvania and New York. Other published works include poetry, articles and short stories.

On sale for $20.00.

Looking Back - The Way Things Were

Looking Back - The Way Things Were is the autobiography of Dr. Milton D. Quigless, Sr. By the time of his death at age 93, Dr. Quigless had become a legend in Eastern North Carolina. Due to segregation, he opened the Quigless Clinic-Hospital on Tarboro's Main Street in 1946, complete with 26 beds for extended stay and an outpatient department. After desegregation, Dr. Quigless was the first African-American doctor to admit patients to and perform surgery at the local county hospital in Tarboro. Until his death in November of 1997, he continued to treat the many patients who came to see him at the Quigless Clinic-Hospital.

On sale for $24.00.

Books on Local Art
The Poet’s Palette

The Poet’s Palette, Selected Works by Hobson Pittman - Meade B. Bridgers, former director of the Blount-Bridgers House and Hobson Pittman Memorial Gallery, presents a brief but lively overview of the artist's life and work, along with a tempting array of reproductions of his paintings and pastels, rich in color and evocative of a remembered time and place.

This beautifully illustrated hardback sells for $39.95.

J. Chris Wilson, A Retrospective

J_Chris_Wilson_Retro.jpgJ. Chris Wilson, A Retrospective - Edgecombe County artist J. Chris Wilson's works from 1960 through 2002, collected and exhibited in 2003. According to Blount-Bridgers Foundation member Meade Bridgers, Wilson and his work have been very important to the development of the Pittman Gallery and the collection of the Blount-Bridgers House. In providing his expertise as teacher, art historian, and consultant, he showed great vision and direction. Wilson served as president of the Edgecombe County Cultural Arts Council in the nineties.

This handsome and beautifully illustrated 100+ page hardback sells for $24.99.

Sarah Blakeslee

Sarah Blakeslee - J. Chris Wilson wrote this essay about the extraordinary artist Sarah Blakeslee to accompany the 1998 retrospective exhibition of her portraits, landscapes and still lifes. Blakeslee was the wife of well-known twentieth century artist Francis Speight. Both painted from their studio in Greenville and in Philadelphia.

This catalogue sells for $15.00.

The Privilege to Paint

Privilege_to_Paint.jpg The Privilege to Paint - The Greenville (NC) Museum of Art published this illustrated biography, by Maurice C. York, that documents the lives and art of Francis Speight and his equally talented wife, Sarah Blakeslee.

Francis Speight grew up in Bertie County, North Carolina, and taught painting and drawing at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia from 1925 until 1961. In 1936, he married Sarah Jane Blakeslee, who was a student at the academy's country school at Chester Springs. In 1961, the couple moved to Greenville, North Carolina, where Francis became artist-in-residence at East Carolina University and Sarah painted and taught art classes. Francis painted primarily landscapes, while Sarah painted landscapes, portraits, and still lifes. Both artists won numerous awards for their work and have been honored with exhibitions in both North Carolina and Pennsylvania. The state of North Carolina honored Francis Speight in 1964 with its highest award given to an artist, the North Carolina Award in Fine Arts. This was the first year the award was given. Thirty years later, it honored Sarah Blakeslee with the same award.

This book features over 80 full color images of their paintings. From landscapes of Pennsylvania and North Carolina to portraits and still lifes, their paintings capture the essence of their subjects. This is a story of two kindred spirits and a celebration of their love of painting.

On sale for $34.95.

Children's Books
Anna Ganna Bandanna Learned To Fly

Anna Ganna Bandanna Learned To Fly is a story by Vernon R. Lindquist, illustrated by local artist Susan Barbe Fecho.

Meet Anna Ganna Bandanna, her pepe’s old dog, Car, and the great Raven Ebon on their special day at the far end of the pasture near the mysterious Stream of Sticks.

A quick-read picture book for young readers, published by Double A Books, $11.50

The Hearts of the People

Hearts_of_the_People.jpg The Hearts of the People, an Oral History of Tarboro and Edgecombe County, a film by Jeremy Dean, is a 70-minute DVD produced by the Blount-Bridgers Foundation to commemorate the bicentennial of the historic house.

The film gives an account of how the people in one small North Carolina town survived the generational changes of the Great Depression, WWII, the Civil Rights movement and beyond, and how they were able to sustain a community that learned how to live and work together. Intertwined within the stories of the people is the story of the Blount-Bridgers House, which served as a community meeting place and how it changed with the times and has ultimately become a symbol of the town’s growth and prosperity. Limited supply available at $20.00.