Halifax County Courthouse in Halifax, North Carolina
|Aug 24, 2016
Click North Carolina Courthouses to see all the stories in this topic.
Laurie and I like riding our Gold Wing motorcycle. But it is easy to get into a rut and just ride the same roads. So to force ourselves to ride to places we would not normally visit we have a goal to visit and photograph all 100 North Carolina courthouses within 1 year. This blog is about one of those visits.
Click here to see a photo and map of all the courthouses we have visited on a single page.
Many NC courthouses were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. The nomination form has some interesting facts about the various courthouse styles over the years.
Halifax County Courthouse is a historic county courthouse located at Halifax, Halifax County, North Carolina. It was designed by architects Wheeler & Stern and built in 1909-1910. It is a three-story, tan brick, Classical Revival style building. It has a tetrastyle Corinthian order portico flanked by two-story flat roofed wings and a two-stage cupola atop a shallow mansard roof.
The first Halifax county courthouse was built in 1759. In 1847, the first courthouse was replaced by a second, which itself was replaced in 1910 by a third courthouse erected on the site of the second courthouse. The 1910 courthouse was the present courthouse in 1938, the same year the famed 1938 photo of the drinking fountain on the county courthouse lawn was taken. A stone marker presently stands on the courthouse lawn where the photographed drinking fountain resided.
It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
Formed in 1758 from Edgecombe County, Halifax receives its name from George Montague, second Earl of Halifax and president of the British Board of Trade and Plantations. Prior to its English settlement, the Tuscarora inhabited the area comprising what is now Halifax County. Once the English forced the Indians out, they established slave-operated plantations that profited from the fertile soil. Moreover, these settlers facilitated the Roanoke River as a trading post and shipped goods to various settlements across the colony. The county’s plantation cash-crop economy flourished through these trades until the Civil War, when the emergence of railroads minimized the river’s importance and the abolition of slavery undid the plantation system to a great extent.
Halifax County is also well known as the birthplace of the Halifax Resolves. This pre-revolutionary resolution passed on April 12, 1776, empowered North Carolina delegates at the Second Continental Congress to work with delegates from other colonies in declaring independence from Great Britain. The first resolution of its kind, the Halifax Resolves are still recognized today, commemorated on the state flag, and celebrated as Halifax Day in the county. Residents wear costumes portraying the colonial period and reenact in colonial activities, like craftsmanship.
Although the county seat is Halifax, the town of Roanoke Rapids is better known to tourists for its numerous historical sights, including the Roanoke Canal Museum and Trail, and as the birthplace of a few famous people. The late George Grizzard, Tony and Emmy winning actor, hails from Roanoke Rapids, as does contemporary rock musician Chris Daughtry and former MLB pitcher Brian Barnes. Other towns located in Halifax County are Brinkleyville, Butterwood, Conoconnara, Enfield, Faucett, Littleton, Palmyra, Roseneath, Scotland Neck, and Weldon.
Perhaps nature is Halifax County’s greatest treasure. Numerous sites, including Medoc Mountain State Park, Lake Gaston, and Roanoke Rapids Lake, attract thousands of local, state, and out-of-state tourists each year. Most of these attractions are built around or connected to the Roanoke River. Despite not aiding private industry as it once did, the river still serves as a valuable asset to tourism and environmental protection industries.
This is a very historic area with numerous old buildings and trails near the courthouse.
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You may be interested in the next article, Harnett County Courthouse in Lillington, North Carolina.
The previous article is Guilford County Courthouse in Greensboro, North Carolina.
© Bobby Daniel