Tarboro, North Carolina

Tarboro, North Carolina – A Historical Overview


Located in Edgecombe County, Tarboro, North Carolina, is a charming city that beautifully blends the past with the present. With a history dating back to 1760, Tarboro is one of the state’s oldest communities. Over the years, it has grown to accommodate both historical and modern neighborhoods, attractions, and amenities.

Brief History

Early Settlement and Establishment

Tarboro was first settled in the 18th century, primarily due to its strategic location on the Tar River.

  • In 1760, it was incorporated by English colonists and was designated as the county seat for Edgecombe County.
  • Throughout the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Tarboro thrived as a trading and agricultural hub.

Development through the Centuries

Moving into the 19th century, the town continued to develop.

  • The arrival of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad in 1839 boosted the local economy, leading to a period of prosperity and growth.
  • Despite facing devastation during the Civil War and Reconstruction, Tarboro showed resilience and gradually rebuilt its economy.

In the 20th and 21st centuries, Tarboro diversified its economy and strengthened its community, becoming the vibrant town it is today.

Tarboro Neighborhoods

NeighborhoodNotable Features
Historic DistrictListed on the National Register of Historic Places, this district is home to some of Tarboro’s most notable historical buildings and sites.
PrincevilleKnown as one of the first towns incorporated by African Americans in the U.S., it is home to the George Henry White Memorial.
WilkinsA residential neighborhood with several parks and local businesses.
Downtown TarboroA bustling area filled with shops, restaurants, and the beautiful Town Common, one of the oldest legacies of the original town plan from 1760.
Sherwood AvenueA peaceful neighborhood characterized by well-preserved 20th-century homes and proximity to shopping centers.

Notable Attractions

Tarboro, North Carolina, offers a variety of attractions that highlight its history, culture, and community spirit.

Historical Attractions

  • The Town Common: A historic 15-acre park located in Downtown Tarboro, it is one of the few remaining original town commons in the U.S.
  • The Edgecombe County Veterans’ Military Museum: A museum dedicated to preserving and displaying military artifacts and memorabilia from Edgecombe County’s veterans.

Cultural Attractions

  • The Blount-Bridgers House: A Federal-style plantation house turned museum, which houses a collection of 19th and 20th-century art.
  • The Tarboro Brewing Company: A favorite among locals and visitors alike, this establishment offers craft beers with a side of Tarboro’s history.

Statistical Data

As of the last U.S. Census Bureau report, Tarboro had a population of approximately 11,000. The demographics were as follows:

  • Racial composition: 51% African American, 42% White, 5% Hispanic or Latino, and 2% other races.
  • Median age: 40.7 years
  • Median household income: $36,229
  • Homeownership rate: 54.7%


Tarboro, North Carolina, is a city rich in history, culture, and community spirit. Its unique blend of historical neighborhoods, modern amenities, and notable attractions make it an intriguing destination. From its early days as a trading post to its current status as a vibrant city, Tarboro continues to cherish its past while looking toward the future.


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