The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC


February 17, 2012

PBS star headlines ECC historic preservation event

TARBORO — Roy Underhill, host of the popular PBS show The Woodwright’s Shop, is coming to Tarboro.

He will headline the 4th annual Historic Preservation Trades School at Edgecombe Community College on Saturday, March 31, as a guest speaker.

In addition to Underhill’s presentation, preservation demonstrations in blacksmithing, slate and metal roofing, masonry, timberframing, carpentry, painting, window repair, and other topics will be under way throughout the day.

The Woodwright’s Shop celebrates its 30th anniversary this season.

“Roy Underhill is an icon of traditional woodcrafting, and we are thrilled that he is participating in our Historic Preservation Trades School,” says Monika Fleming, program coordinator.

“Though we’re still working out the details of his visit, we know he’ll give a presentation midday. Hopefully he’ll be available to meet guests and autograph his books as well.”

Underhill is author of six books, including The Woodwright’s Shop: A Practical Guide to Traditional Woodcraft and The Woodwright’s Workbook: Further Explorations in Traditional Woodcraft (both from the University of North Carolina Press). He lives in Pittsboro, NC.

After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Underhill and his wife moved to the Southwest in the early 1970s to pursue a career in theatre. When that didn’t work out, a subsequent move led to a rekindling of his interest in traditional tools and woodworking.

”My wife and I were living in the mountains of northern New Mexico, nearly 17 miles from the nearest electrical line,” he says. “If you wanted to do something up there, you did it with whatever you brought with you.”

Underhill says the forced independence of living in a remote area of the mountains and doing “the homesteading thing,” in addition to the environmental issues of appropriate technology, firmly established his love for the highly efficient tools of the past.

He returned east a few years later to further develop his woodworking knowledge and studied colonial American technology at Duke University. While he dabbled in both woodworking and blacksmithing following graduation, it was the birth of his first daughter that prompted Underhill to look for permanent work.

Drawing on his theatre background, Underhill put together a proposal for a woodworking show and took it to the University of North Carolina Center for Public Television. He was rejected, but a second try in 1978 led to the taping of the first 13 episodes of The Woodwright’s Shop. Initially airing only on PBS stations in North Carolina beginning in 1979, the show went national two years later.

At about the same time his television show was catching on, Underhill moved to Williamsburg, Va., to accept the position of master housewright at Colonial Williamsburg, where he also served as director of interpretive development. He lived in Williamsburg for 17 years.

For more information or to register for the Historic Preservation Trades School at Edgecombe Community College, contact Monika Fleming at (252) 823-5166, ext. 241, or

Text Only
  • Tom Hoard.jpg NCWRC schedules September Outdoors-Woman program events

    The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission will offer two special outdoor skills sessions for women in September through its Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program. (BOW) Registration is open to women ages 18 and older, on a first-come, first-serve basis, with a fee to cover costs of materials and accommodations. Partial scholarships are available.

    July 27, 2012 1 Photo

  • Sound.jpg ‘Sound of Music’ opens tonight in Keihin

    The Tar Rivers Players final production of the season, The Sound of Music, opens tonight at 8 in Keihin Auditorium. In all, the 27-member cast will present a total of six performances in the directorial debut of James Guy.
    Performances will be held at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, June 22-23 and June 29-30, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 24 and July 1.

    June 22, 2012 1 Photo

  • 6.9 Kickin Grass.jpg Kickin Grass coming to Saint Anne’s Saturday

    The Kickin Grass Band, a Raleigh-based bluegrass group, will play at Saint Anne’s Chapel on Saturday, June 9.
    Ten years in the making, the Kickin Grass Band has made its mark on the roots music scene with strong voices and original songs that reflect the depth and breadth of the human experience.

    June 8, 2012 1 Photo

  • CountryMusic-DunnpicC.jpg Country Music Showcase and Variety Show

    Cassie Dunn of Macclesfield, will be performing during the pre-show and the regular show at the Country Music Showcase and Variety Show at the Paul A. Johnson Auditorium, at Johnson Community College in Smithfield Friday June 15 and Saturday June 16.

    June 8, 2012 1 Photo

  • Tar River Children’s Choir celebrates 20 years tonight

    Who would believe a children's choir from our Rocky Mount area would give concerts in such places as the Washington DC’s National Cathedral, NYC's Riverside Church, Phildelphia's Church of the Holy Trinity, Charleston's Piccolo Spoleto Festival, and Williamburg's Bruton Parish and that they would sing with symphony orchestras and symphonic band?

    May 18, 2012

  • benjones.jpeg Tarboro native ‘Cooter’ in Selma tonight

    Tarboro native Ben Jones, better known as either “Cooter” from the television series “Dukes of Hazard” or as a former two-term representative in Congress from Georgia’s 4th District, will join Nathan Stanley and The Clinch Mountain Boys tonight at 7 at the Rudy Theatre in Selma.

    May 4, 2012 1 Photo

  • NC Boys Choir.jpg NC Boys Choir coming to Tarboro May 11

    The North Carolina Boys Choir, one of the relatively few existing boys choirs in the country, will perform in Clark Hall at Calvary Episcopal Church at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Admission is free.

    May 4, 2012 1 Photo

  • CHemingway-Wanchese-Commuter-9x12.jpg Former Tarboro resident to be featured at Greenville gallery

    Chip Hemingway grew up in Tarboro.
    It is, he says, the place where his father, Dr. George C. Hemingway, shared his love of the outdoors with him and where so many of his values were established.
    “It was a great place to grow up,” he said, noting that his father and mother, Lynn, have only been gone for about two months after relocating to Wilmington.

    April 27, 2012 2 Photos

  • ‘Our Town’ opens in McIntyre tonight

    “Our Town,” a heartfelt and humorous story that compels the audience to stop and enjoy the simple things in life, will be presented both this weekend and next by the Tar River Players (TRP).

    April 27, 2012

  • ECC drama class sets shows tonight, Saturday

    Edgecombe Community College’s (ECC) drama classes will perform two plays geared to engage, entice and entertain the entire community tonight and Saturday morning.
    In honor of one of the most famous Elizabethan playwrights, William Shakespeare, the ECC Acting II class will perform in “An Evening with the Bard: Scenes from Four Great Plays.”

    April 20, 2012