1859-61; Edmund G. Lind (Baltimore), Architect; S side US 64 A, 0.5 mi. E of SR 1207, Tarboro
Set behind a grove of large magnolias and deciduous trees on a 12-acre lawn, the plantation villa and its matching outbuildings form an extraordinary ensemble of late antebellum taste. Coolmore was built for Dr. Joseph J. W. Powell, a prominent planter and physician, at the zenith of the area’s cotton prosperity.
Architect Lind of Baltimore not only designed the mansion but also recruited workmen and assisted in selecting materials, furnishings, and decorations –all from Baltimore. The 2-story, frame house with 1story wings features a cupola and ornate bracketed cornice. The interior, with a central stair spiraling to the cupola, features ornamental plaster and a splendid ensemble of trompe l’oeil painting executed by Ernst Dreyer of Baltimore, an immigrant painter from St. Petersburg, Russia. Outbuildings continue the Italianate villa theme including a smokehouse, a carriage house, servants’ quarters, and a gas house to the rear as well as the kitchen, which has been moved to the northern side of the road. A few hundred yards to the east stand an earlier farmhouse and several later tenant houses.