Ballroom and Library

The Ballroom and Library

The Ballroom

This room was originally designated as the Music Room, and the large room directly above it was the Ballroom. In the 1920s the upstairs room was subdivided and this room became officially known as the Ballroom. It is now used for meetings and musical concerts, as well as balls, receptions, and parties. During World War I, Gov. and Mrs. Thomas Bickett lived in the mansion. It was very important to Mrs. Bickett to share in the war effort and to be a patriotic citizen. The Ballroom, still on the second floor, was equipped with sixty or more cots for soldiers passing through the city. The downstairs Music Room was pressed into service as a ballroom for dances and patriotic groups. Items of interest in the room include a pair of gilded French Empire mirrors located on the south wall. They were presented as gifts to the mansion in 1967 from seven former first ladies: Gardner, Ehringhaus, Broughton, Kerr Scott, Umstead, Hodges, and Sanford.

The Library

The informal setting of the library makes it conducive to reading or carrying on a conversation. The library contains a collection of books, begun by Gov. Terry Sanford, about North Carolina or by North Carolina authors. There are several interesting decorative pieces in the room. A Joan of Arc motif inkwell and brass vases and match holders were gifts to the state from the French government via the "Merci Train" following World War II. The vases and match holders are made from World War I artillery shells. The designs on the needlepoint pillowcases represent the major industries in North Carolina: agriculture, fishing, furniture, textiles, tobacco, tourism, and transportation.