The Richmond-Miles History
Museum is located in the Graves-Florance-Gatewood House
(circa 1822), also known as the Gatewood House. The museum
is named for the paternal grandmothers of
Thomas Richmond McPherson and Kathy Simmons McPherson,
whose Richmond and Miles ancestors were in Caswell County
before the Revolutionary War. Kathy's grandmother, Minnie
Simmons Miles, was an active member of the Cherry Grove
community her whole life which spans more than 90 years.
She was a lover of history, a former teacher and also the
cafeteria manager in Caswell County Schools. Tom's
Richmond ancestors were in the old Richmond District of
the county, the Leasburg/Hightower area. Leon Richmond's
farm is in the general area and he is a distant relative.
The Graves-Florance-Gatewood House is named for its owners
in chronological order. Well known artist Maud Florance
Gatewood's Florance grandparents bought the house
around 1880. Maud's mother was born in the room that is
now occupied by the County Director of Economic
Development. (See the plaque on the door). The building
was first a school, then a residence, and was built in
bits and pieces. There are many ghostmarks throughout the
house that gives clues to that.
The Richmond-Miles Museum offers displays and artifacts of Caswell
The museum is open from noon to 4 pm Tuesday thru Friday and other hours by
Yanceyville's courthouse square is legendary for it's history from the
revolutionary war to the present. During the early 1800's, both the speaker of the North Carolina House and the President Pro Tem of the North Carolina Senate resided in Caswell County. Caswell has been home to Congressman, scholars, writers and a scoundrel or two.
The majestic courthouse was completed in 1861. It was
the site of the murder of John "Chicken"
Stephens, which eventually led to the Kirk-Holden War,
and the impeachment of Governor William Holden.
During the early 1800's, both the speaker of the North
Carolina House and the President Pro Tempe of the North
Carolina Senate resided in Caswell County. Caswell has
been home to Congressman, scholars, writers and a
scoundrel or two.
The county seat since 1792, Yanceyville's National
Register Historic District encompasses a magnificent
antebellum courthouse, courthouse town square, and 23
other antebellum houses and buildings.
Thomas Day House - Union Tavern
Located in Historic Milton, the two story brick tavern is one of the earliest remaining
taverns in North Carolina. Constructed in a sophisticated Federal
style with three front entrances and interior end
chimneys, it was partially destroyed by fire in 1988.
Restoration is now in progress. The building was the
residence and workshop of cabinet maker Thomas Day from
mid 1840 to his death in 1860.
Make sure you visit Milton which is located in
northeastern Caswell County and enjoy it's history,
the shops, Aunt Millie's restaurant and the hospitality of its people...a museum
without walls, Milton preservation of the past is also
Shoppes of Milton
Milton Antique Mall (336-234-0102)
Cousin's Antiques (336-234-8984)
Milton General Store (336-234-0010)
Milton Historic Sites
Milton Baptist Church
Thomas Day House - Union Tavern (c. 1818)
Milton Presbyterian Church (c. 1837)
Milton Women's Club (c. 1900)
Milton Methodist Church
Known as a "museum without walls", Milton was
incorporated in 1796 and was at one time a bustling
center of commerce, cultural and social life. This
National Register Historic District has been called one
of the most perfectly preserved examples of 19th century
commercial districts. Many original buildings in
downtown Milton are currently being renovated.
The Thomas Day story was the subject of a five page
article in a past issue of the Washington Post. His work
was extraordinary. In fact, Craftique Furniture has
chosen Thomas Day's furniture as the featured line in
their collection of historic reproductions.
Mr. Day's story is even more extraordinary in that he was a
free black man and an entrepreneur in the pre-Civil War
South. His beautiful work graces Woodside Inn, the
Milton Presbyterian Church and many other homes in the
area. Union Tavern, where he lived and worked, is under
restoration. His furniture is worth seeing and his story
is worth hearing.
Thomas Day's furniture was featured in an exhibit at the
North Carolina History Museum for over nine months. That
exhibit is closed but you can still view an exhibit of
Thomas Day work at the Furniture Discovery Center in
High Point, North Carolina.
The first county seat of Caswell, Leasburg is an
impressive collection of early 19th century residential
architecture within a dignified village atmosphere.