When I began my thinking process for my “C” for our Carolinas From A to Z feature this month Cameron, North Carolina kept popping into my head.    The Husband, daughter and I had been to this cute little town on a day trip adventure and spent some happy hours antique hunting through some great shops.   I did a little research  to see if there were any quirky things or oddities “hiding” in the area and lo and behold up popped The Painted Barns of Cameron.     It seems that in 1999 Cameron native David Ellis brought together street artists from New York City and Japan to paint old tobacco barns and buildings in the area.   They are scattered around the countryside and even today, 14 years later, you can still see some wonderful evidence of their work.  Typical of a lot of my road trip ideas or places I want to see, I have vague directions and no real address.   This does not surprise the The Husband at all and in 32 years he has learned to roll with the punches and get out the map (or GPS), so armed with a highway number we set off in search of the barns.    When we had previously visted Cameron, we came through the town from a different direction, so this trip the landscape was unfamiliar  and we drove for a good bit.   I was beginning to doubt their existence when I saw them a little way off the road.    The Husband and I walked to the cluster of buildings above and happily discovered 6 gems waiting in the overgrowth.

Can you imagine how vibrant these colors must have been in 1999!

I think this one is my favorite.  It is on the corner of an old house sitting nestled among the barns and outbuildings.

It was amazing to me how clear the images have remained after so many summers in the hot Carolina sun.

Some are not nearly as easy to decipher, but you can still see a bit of what the image once was.

We continued on down the road, but did not see any more of the barns.   I know they are scattered around the area, off side roads and more than likely a bit overgrown and not as easily visible from the roads as these.   Check out this link to see what they looked like in 1999.   Doesn’t it make you want to take a road trip and find The Painted Barns of Cameron for yourself?

(Check out Alessa’s Tale of Two Cities Cameron, South Carolina  post for another look at a quaint town named Cameron).


  1. Thanks for sharing. My husband is a friend of David’s family and knows this project well. Will share with him.

    • That would be nice. I would love to find more of them. So cool to be just driving along and there they are! Thank you Steph.

    • Thank you Caro. It was really fun to see them. I can see another road trip in my future to discover more of them.

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