Born in Virginia in 1801, Thomas Day, a free African-American craftsman, came to Milton in 1825. He established a cabinetmaking business and created furniture that is as highly prized today as it was in its own time. He is considered the state's most famous cabinetmaker and furniture craftsman. That he survived and thrived in the early half of the 19th-century is even more remarkable. Among his clients were two governors and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.