Front View of the 1860 Italianate Mansion: Coolmore Plantation, Tarboro Vicinity, Edgecombe County, NC
A sepia view of the front of Coolmore, surrounded by several acres of trees in an estate setting. It is still the seat of its original plantation, which once consisted of 2800 acres.
Upon entering the massive double front doors of Coolmore, one immediately steps into one of the grandest spaces that could ever be imagined. The entrance hall is by far the most elaborate room in the mansion and has all of its original faux marbelized wall, trompe l'oeil ceiling and hand-painted, canvas cloth floor covering. Statuary niches are found here, as well as the Grand Spiral Stairhall. It is said that the marble statues, imported from Europe, arrived in Baltimore, but due to the beginning of the Civil War were never shipped south to Coolmore. They supposedly remain somewhere up north today.
Almost all interior decoration, furniture, floor coverings, wallpapers, artwork, trompe l'oeil wall and ceiling paintings are original to the completion date of 1860.
Coolmore Plantation was built from 1857-1860 by Dr. Joseph John Willis Powell and his wife, Martha Branch Whitaker Powell, both of Halifax County. Dr. Powell moved to Edgecombe County to run what was to become Coolmore Plantation for his Uncle Richard Harrison, one of antebellum North Carolina's wealthiest planters and businessmen, subsequently inherited the 2800 acres in 1856 and proceeded almost immediately to build one of the grandest plantation houses in the entire South. It was designed by Baltimore architect, E. G. Lind.