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July 3, 2024

Blount-Bridgers Gardens Arboretum: A Jewel and Event Venue in Tarboro, NC


Nestled in the heart of Tarboro, North Carolina, the Blount-Bridgers Gardens Arboretum stands as a verdant oasis that seamlessly merges history, nature, and culture. Surrounding the historic Blount-Bridgers House, built in 1808 by prominent businessman and U.S. congressman Thomas Blount, this arboretum offers a serene retreat for both locals and visitors alike.

The Blount-Bridgers House, a Federal-style plantation house, has witnessed the ebb and flow of time and history. In 1979, this architectural gem was restored and repurposed as a museum, preserving the legacy of Edgecombe County. The first floor showcases an exquisite collection of 19th-century furniture, furnishings, and memorabilia, providing a window into the rich history of the town and county. Visitors can immerse themselves in the stories of histories, gaining a deeper understanding of the region's heritage.

Ascending to the second floor, visitors are greeted by the Hobson Pittman Memorial Gallery. This living museum is dedicated to Hobson Pittman (1899-1972), Edgecombe County’s premier artist. The gallery houses a permanent collection of Pittman’s 20th-century artwork, alongside rotating exhibits from local, regional, national, and international artists. It is a vibrant cultural hub where art enthusiasts can revel in the creativity and talent on display.

The Blount-Bridgers Gardens Arboretum is more than just a historical site; it is a botanical treasure trove. As a Level I arboretum, it features over 40 species of trees and woody plants, meticulously curated to offer a diverse and educational experience. Among these, the NC Champion Big Tree, a majestic post oak (Quercus stellata), stands as a testament to the arboretum’s commitment to preservation and environmental stewardship.

Funded by the Town of Tarboro and generous donations, the arboretum has flourished into one of Tarboro’s cherished public green spaces. It is a favorite spot for photographers, capturing the natural beauty and historical charm that the gardens exude. The arboretum also serves as a venue for numerous public and private events. From weddings to local gatherings, the gardens provide a picturesque backdrop for creating lasting memories.

The dedication to maintaining and enhancing the Blount-Bridgers Gardens Arboretum is evident in the careful stewardship of the property. Volunteers and employees work carefully to ensure the arboretum thrives. The arboretum's governing body and strategic plan underscore its commitment to preserving this green space for future generations to enjoy.

The Blount-Bridgers Gardens Arboretum is a testament to Tarboro’s rich history, cultural vibrancy, and natural beauty. It is a place where the past meets the present, and where the community can gather, learn, and celebrate. Whether you are a history buff, an art lover, a nature enthusiast, or looking for a unique event venue, a visit to this arboretum promises a rewarding and enriching experience.

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