The Norfleet Cotton Press, which is also called the
Tarboro Cotton Press or the Edgecombe County Cotton
Press is a wooden press that was built in the mid 18th
century in Edgecombe County, North Carolina.  It was
later moved to Tarboro in 1938 and placed on the
National Register of Historic Places on February 18,
1971.

The original owner of the press was Isaac Norfleet at a
plantation approximately 2.5 miles southwest of
Tarboro.  It was originally a cider and wine press and
was converted to a cotton press in 1860 due to the
abundance of cotton being grown in the surrounding
area.  This press is constructed of yellow pine and has a
large screw that is used to compress the cotton into a
wooden form to produce the bale.  The supporting
frame has four upright posts with braces.  Mules or
oxen were hitched to two large booms or "buzzard
wings" and used to rotate the large screw.  The overall
height of the press is 22 feet.
Photos of the press at it's original location show a rectangular open shed with a steep hip roof.  The top of the press is
shown extending through this roof and covered by a smaller, rectangular hip roof that would rotate with the screw.

In 1938, the press was moved to the Town Commons on Albemarle Street in Tarboro, NC, but the shed was destroyed.  A
small octagonal hip roof was built over the press and in 1976, restoration of the project was completed.  The octagonal roof
was removed and a pavilion resembling the original shed was built to protect it from the elements.
photos taken October 10, 2009
Click onto any of the thumbnail images below to view a larger photo