photograph by Charles Harris

Featured image: On Main Street, renovated locales and historic icons — a former service station, now home to Tarboro Brewing Company, and the old Colonial Theater, built in 1919 — look equally at home.

Tarboro is a walking town. A front-porch-sitting place. The kind of community where “Tell your mama I said ‘hey’!” is yelled from car windows. And no wonder. Established in 1760, it’s had time to be worn in and loved well. Here, neighbors share a rich history: of wars and floods, renewal and preservation. From Calvary Episcopal Church, consecrated in 1868, to the carefully restored homes and architecture in its 45-block historic district, one of the largest in the state, Tarboro embodies the spirit of its past. But it isn’t stuck there. There’s a youthful energy on its charming downtown streets, too — in the people, the murals, the shops. So go on, take a walk.

Tarboro Coffee House offers a warm Main Street welcome in the historic 1907 Bridgers Building, once the offices of East Carolina Railroad founder Henry Clark Bridgers Sr. photograph by Charles Harris

Photograph by Charles Harris

Calvary Episcopal Church
Inside the Gothic Revival church are original pews and other furnishings, including an altar believed to have been made out of leftover oak used in the construction of a Confederate war ram, the CSS Albemarle.

Photograph by Charles Harris

Martin Millennium Academy
Flags of many nations line the entry of Edgecombe County’s first global K-8 school with Spanish immersion. Here, with help from 17 international teachers, Tarboro natives become scholars of the world.

Downtown is a family affair for Inez Ribustello, who, with husband Stephen, owns Tarboro Brewing and On The Square restaurant (try the pimento cheeseburger).


Blocks away, Ribustello’s dad, Rusty, and stepmom, Mary Ann, sell family-recipe peanut brittle at Rusty’s Gift Shop. photograph by Charles Harris

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Since 1933, Our State has shared stories about North Carolina with readers both in state and around the world. We celebrate the people and places that make this state great. From the mountains to the coast, we feature North Carolina travel, history, food, and beautiful scenic photography.