Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Alamance 
County Historical Museum, Inc. was the birthplace of Edwin
Michael Holt, a pioneer in the southern textile industry.

Museum activities are sponsored in part by a grant from the NC Humanities Council.


Museum Collections



Bustled Day Dress,ca. 1870, green silk moiré with brocatelle banding, worn by Frusannah Elizabeth (Kime) Sellars (1833-1922), grandmother of Senator B. Everett Jordan.


Silk faille walking dress ca. 1860, fitted paletot basque jacket, bustled underskirt, and overskirt drawn into a ribbon chou.  Worn by Mrs Emily Newlin Davidson.


Slave Dress, ca. 1850, linsey-woolsey homespun material. Provenance: Murray Plantation, Cross Roads Community, northern Alamance County.

Silk Hat, ca. 1910-15, with handpainted cotton stuff-work design.  Made by Miss Pearl Smith, Haw River, NC milliner.  The hat is displayed on one of the shop's original wrought iron stands.
06.02.72Walnut Blanket Chest, Country Chippendale Style, ca. 1820Made in southern Alamance County 
Classical Revival Center Table made in 1838 by free black cabinetmaker Thomas Day.

Maple and figured tiger maple ladder-back chairs, ca. 1850.  Pegged construction with original oak splint seat.  Said to have been made by slave craftsman, "Washington," who apprenticed with the Way family of chairmakers in Alamance County.  Note 'peaked' design of crestrail, said to be Washinton's signature design element.



Platform Cradle, ca. 1870s, attributed to John Coble of Alamance County.

Child’s High Chair, ca. 1770-1810, made in Piedmont North Carolina
Lighting Devices:
Betty Lamp, ca. 1750-1800, southern Alamance County.
Diamond Light Argand Lamp, ca. 1880, made by Manhattan Brass Company, patented 1861.

91.84.118 aRoccoco fire-gilt brass candelabrum with marble base and embossed design of leaves, grapes, and winged cherubs.

87.40182 a,bPair of mantel lustres, ca. 1860-75, cranberry glass overlay with wheel-cut and acid-etched design of grapes and leaves,

08.03.354Argand-type brass chandelier, ca. 1820-40.  Urn-shaped font and original acid-etched and wheel-cut vaseform glass shades.

Pressed Glass Kerosene lamp, ca. 1885, “Turkey Foot” pattern
76.69.06               Percussion Cap Box, ca. 1864-1866, marked United States Army Caps, UMC Co., Bridgeport, Connecticut.
76.66.06               Brass Eagle Cartridge Belt Plate, ca. 1845-1872
86.70.72               Watch Chain and Bone fobs, ca. 1864, handmade by George W. Anthony of Alamance County while a prisoner of war at the Union prison at Elmira, NY.
06.09.72               Brass Belt Buckle and Belt, 6th N.C. Infantry, Confederate Troops, ca. 1864, worn by George W. Anthony of Alamance County.


Long Rifle, ca. 1850, made by William Thompson of Snow Camp, NC.

"THOMPSON NC No 19" is engraved on the barrel.

Halberd, ca. 1781, found at site of Pyle’s Defeat (scene of defeat of Colonel John Pyle and loyalists)

87.06.172Civl War Pharmacy Box originally owned by Dr. William Rainey Holt (1798-1868) a graduate of Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA.  The box was later acquired by Dr. William Rankin Goley (1853-1934), whose medical training was obtained from Baltimore College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Selections from the Tom Neal Collection (# 90.60.240) containing projectile points, celts, drills and pottery shards dating from the Paleolithic through the early contact era.


Extremely large quarry blade (7" x 3") found in Alamance County and dating from the Guilford Period around 2500 BC.


Stone axes found in Alamance County dating from the Guilford Period around 3000 BC.

Original oil on canvas entitled “Sunset,” by Ralph A. Blakelock, 1885.
Portrait, “Edwin Michael Holt,” age 72, completed in December 1879 by artist William Garl Browne
Portrait, “Emily Farish Holt,” age 71, completed in December 1879 by artist William Garl Browne
Portrait, “Madame Elizabeth Vigee-LeBrun” (1755-1842) purchased in Europe by Lawrence and Margaret Holt
Hand-painted Limoges Platter, 1872, decorated by Mary Catherine (Mebane) Holt.
Dirt Dish, ca. 1840-1850, made by Alamance County potter, Solomon Loy. Note sine curve polychrome decoration.
Dirt Dish, ca. 1890-1900, made by Albert Loy (1874-1955)


Ironstone Transferware ca. 1850,  made in Staffordshire, England, by Enoch Wood, Wood and Sons Pottery.  The pattern is "English Scenery,"

 Glass and Crystal:



ca. 1880 French crystal stemware, probably from the Baccarat company, belonging to Banks and Mary Catherine Holt.  


ca. 1875-1880 American Brilliant period cut-glass punch bowl belonged to Mrs. E.C. Holt of Alamance County.


ca. 1875-1885 handpainted opaque Bristol milkglass vases belonged to Bonne Williamson Harden of Alamance County.

Quilt, “Tulip Applique” pattern, ca. 1850, made by Elizabeth Anne (Mebane) Holt (1827-1895), wife of Alfred Augustus Holt (1829-1856) and daughter-in-law of E.M. Holt.
Quilt, “Mariner’s Compass” pattern, ca. 1850, with floral chintz border. Made by Elizabeth Anne (Mebane) Holt (1827-1895) and her sister-in-law, Emma Virginia (Holt) White (1847-1904).
Quilt, “Fish –in-a-Wheel” pattern, ca. 1890-1900, containing 25 squares surrounded by strips of Alamance Yellow material.
Coin silver spoons, ca. 1810, made by Salem, N.C. silversmith John Vogler for Michael Holt III. Engraved “M.H.” on coffin-form handle.
Collection of silver owned by Lawrence and Margaret Holt, including a soup tureen (#80.31.74) by Wilcox Silver Company; a sterling silver soup ladle (#80.28.156) “Wave Edge” pattern, 1884, Tiffany and Co.; a cold beverage pitcher (#79.47.74) manufactured by Meriden Silver Company, June 13, 1868; and a tea urn (#04.35.118) by Edward I, Edward II, and William Barnard of London, 1829-1846. 


Fruit Serving Bowl ca. 1896-1920, engraved with an "H" in the center.  Made by Woodside Sterling Company.


Silver plated trophy cup awarded to "Alamance Farm" by the "Interstate Poultry and Pigeon Association, 1898."  The 1st Place award features the hand-engraved image of a rooster.


Vanity set, ca. 1900, including hand mirror, hair brush, clothes brush, and powder jar, all in Repousse pattern made by J.S. MacDonald and with "MLH" engraved on piece. Three crystal and silver dresser jars (11.26.262).  Two are made by M.F. Hamilton & Sons, the other is from an unknown maker. 


Tussie-mussie nosegay holder, vermeil with mother-of-pearl handle, originally carried by Mary Gizeal Allen (1804-1832) at the time of her marriage to Dr. William Rainey Holt in 1822.  It was used again on June 6, 1940, at the wedding of their descendant, Margaret Holt Lowry to Charles Monroe Butler.



Fire gilt metal bird attached to decorative C-clamp and associated bolt screw.  Bird is realistically embossed with feather design; the clamp is embossed with flowers and foliate decorations.  The bird is surmounted by a small pin cushion covered with original velveteen fabric.  The bird sits atop a larger pin cushion of matching fabric.  A small wire-form bird with attached chain and coin-like elements is pinned to the larger cushion.  Meant to attach to a sewing or work table; the bird's beak opens to hold fabric.


Silver bowl (ca. 1894) with chrysanthemum and rose repousse pattern.  "MCH" monogram in the center for Mary Catherine Holt.  Made by Jacobi and Jenkins of Baltimore, MD.




Sterling mesh pocketbook (ca. 1910).  The Art Deco style frame is engraved "Martha Holt Norcross" on one side.  The other side is engraved with a foral motif.


Silver bowl (ca. 1906-1910) with rose, fern, and chrysanthemum pattern. "MLH" monogram in the center for Martha Lynn Holt. Made by J.S. MacDonald Company of Baltimore, MD.

Toy Upright Piano, ca. 1872, manufactured by the Albert Schoenhut Toy Company of Philadelphia, P.A. Atop the piano is a penny toy depicting “Jumbo,” the circus elephant. The child’s book, entitled “Such a Smart Girl,” is a part of the Snowflake Book series, and was printed by Lothrop Publishers of Boston in 1878. In the foreground is a toy miniature Singer Sewing Machine, ca. 1900-1920.

High wheel tricycle (Velocipede) ca, 1900.  This type was sold with "steel tires" or solid rubber tires.

Parian-headed dolls, ca. 1870-90
Carriage, ca. 1870, Phaeton-type singlet model owned by Edwin Michael Holt.
Slant-bodied Conestoga-Type Wagon, ca. 1885, manufactured by Nissen Wagon Company of Salem, N.C.


ca. 1907 Ford Runabout roadster, model "S." Engine # 238, indicating this was the 238th car manufactured by Ford Motor Company in 1907.


ca.1947 Soap Box Derby car constructed between March and June, 1947, by donor (who was then 13 years old). The wooden car, painted racer green, has regulation Firestone wheels and was first place winner in the local soap box race in 1947. The vehicle's sides are painted with the racer's name, "Jerry," and the name of the sponsor, "The Daily Times-News, Burlington, NC." The car was also raced at the 1947 national meet held in Akron, Ohio, but did not place.