Architectural historian, Ruth Little, referred to Milton as “A Museum without walls” in her 1979 book, An Inventory of Historic Architecture, Caswell County North Carolina.
Milton was established in 1796 by the North Carolina General Assembly as an inspection center for Tobacco and Flour. With tobacco factories, prizeries, warehouses, cotton mills and supporting businesses, Milton quickly became a “boom town.” The Town’s success and the promise of The Roanoke Navigation Company to increase navigational capacity of waterways from the Dan River to the coast inspired land speculation and planters to build town homes and merchant homes along Main Street. Commercial buildings which remain are The Milton State Bank– c. 1860 and currently houses The Museum of Milton; The Claude Allen Tobacco Plug Factory– a small, post Civil War structure in serious decline; The Thomas Day House/Union Tavern– a rare Federal 1818 tavern that Free Person of Color cabinetmaker, Thomas Day, used as both residence and workshop from 1848-1861/1861; The Milton General Store– formerly Watkins Dry Goods and Mercantile, now an antique shop, and the delightful, rare Victorian business district called Commercial Row.
Milton is home to four architecturally distinct churches: The Greek Revival-styled Milton Presbyterian (1837) Milton Baptist Meeting House in Classical Revival (1842) Milton Methodist in Frame Gothic Revival style (1891) and the former Christ Episcopal Church representative of the Carpenter Gothic Revival style (1891). High Street Baptist Church is Milton’s only African American congregation. Having undergone extensive renovations in the 1970s, hidden within is the original log church dating c. 1883.
We would tell you more- but that would spoil your visit!
Walking Tour of Milton Homes.
All of Milton’s sites are within walking distance. Some of the homes, commercial buildings and churches feature historical markers. Here is a guide for all. This page is under construction. Please check back soon.