Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Talking Tarboro Trivia

Posted March 16, 2007

I've been studying up on the rich history of Tarboro in advance of my St. Patrick's Day concert with Lorica tomorrow night at Edgecombe Community College. Here's a quiz I'd like you to take, for fun of course. I will post the answers later today.

Here's an incentive to play. Print a copy of the quiz, put your name on it and bring it to the concert tomorrow night. Drop it off at the table where we'll be selling CDs. You don't need to have all the right answers but we will pick a winner from the pile and that person will get a complete collection of my five CDs and DVD tomorrow night.

Good luck. In the meantime I would like to ask the folks in Edgecombe County, where can I find the best barbecue in your area?

Meanwhile, here's the Tarboro Test:

1. Tarboro got its name from the Indian word "Taw" which means what?

2. The NC Legislature met in Tarboro in 1787 and again in what year?

3. How many blocks are included in Tarboro's historic district?

4. WRAL anchor/reporter Valonda Calloway went to college with what famous Tarboro football player?

5. What Tarboro native played "Cooter" on the Dukes of Hazzard television series?

6. What major league baseball player was born in Tarboro?

7. What hurricane caused severe flooding in Tarboro in 1999?

8. What best describes Tarboro: a sweet potato town, a front porch kind of town or a cold winter kind of town?

9. What is the population of Tarboro: 6,987, 8,892 or 11,130?

10. Historic Tarboro is older than all but one of the following towns: Chapel Hill, Pinehurst, New Bern and Asheville. Which one?


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  • Ashen-Shugar Mar 16, 2007

    I agree with Kim. Abrams BBQ is the best.

  • urbudelar Mar 16, 2007

    Thanks, Kim!

  • bcb Mar 16, 2007

    Great little town. We enjoy visiting family there

  • kimwells Mar 16, 2007

    Bill - good place for barbecue would be Abrams

  • urbudelar Mar 16, 2007

    As promised - the answers. Thanks for playing.
    (1) river of health, (2) 1987, (3) 45, (4) Yancey Thigpen, (5) Ben Jones, (6) Burgess Whitehead or Mike Caldwell, (7) Floyd, (8) front porch kind of town, (9) 11,130 and (10) New Bern

  • ProgFan Mar 16, 2007

    Sorry WildBullMoose, New Bern was founded in 1710 (2nd oldest city in NC).

  • WildBullMoose Mar 16, 2007

    I might suggest you try to find a copy of Louise Shivers' book "Here To Get My Baby Out Of Jail". True story of a deadly love triangle and famous court case in Tarboro - took place in old tobacco days. I am not sure I would recommend the movie that was made from the book - and I doubt you could find a copy of "Summer Heat". The movie was made in 1985-86 and shot on location in Tarboro and Rocky Mount. The old-timer pronunciation of Tarboro is "TAR-bruh". I do not know if it is more sophisticated, but the modern pronunciation is "TAR-burra".

  • WildBullMoose Mar 16, 2007

    Here goes - as I was born and raised in Tarboro, I would like to think I could answer these correctly.
    1. Tarboro was known as Tawboro for quite a few years after its incorporation. Taw is Tuscarora Indian for "river of health/life spirit" (Tar River runs through the city)
    2. 1987 (centennial)
    3. Not completely sure. I think about 3200 - 3350 acres
    4. Kelvin Bryant UNC-CH/Washington Redskins
    5. Ben Jones
    6. Mike Caldwell (NCSU grad as well) 7. Hurricane Floyd 8. front porch, definitely 9. 11,000 and hopefully growing 10. Asheville (1797 to Tarboro's 1760)

    That 11th grade project paid off - thanks Mrs. Stanley (Tarboro High School)

  • Heapo Mar 16, 2007

    Bill, as a Rocky Mount native, enjoyed the banter the other day abot its pronunciation. (My view: spoken as one word with very slight emphasis on back end) Wanted to know how you pronounce Tarboro. On the tube, it's usually pronounced like Hillsborough - with three syllables. However, don't know anybody from Nash or Edgecombe counties that doesn't pronounce it "Tarbruh" - 2 syllables. Great little town - love the Commons. ANother town didn't see mentioned - Clinton. Most natives pronounce it without the T -- Clinnon.

  • urbudelar Mar 16, 2007

    Bill here. I wanted to share the following e-mail from Tarboro. Very interesting!

    Just wanted to let you know (if you didn't already) that in downtown Tarboro there is an old cemetery that has some of the most beautiful trees in it. All of them have a plate on them that give you the scientific name and common name of the tree. My favorite is the Ginkgo Tree. It's a very small place and a slow walk through stopping everywhere would take around 30 minutes. It has an air of tranquility about it that I remember from over 30 years ago as a child, and still holds true today as I was there Wednesday. If you can, take a few minutes to check it out. Any lover of nature would enjoy it.

    William Staton

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