Historic Halifax is one of the many fascinating and free North Carolina State Parks with restored buildings authentic to the era and well versed docents giving information regarding the site. Bring your family, enjoy the grounds, and have a picnic in the gardens behind the visitor center. September 21st from 10-4 the Park is having a special event. What a perfect time for a visit. Note the following website for specifics…..
Halifax was a prominent town in the mid 17th century with English settlers moving from Virginia courtesy of King Charles II land grants. Settlers mainly grew peas, corn, and tobacco, and lived among the Tuscarora Indians peacefully until 1711 when Indian wars began. At the end of the wars the Indians relocated to New York.
Halifax was the main city in the Roanoke Valley with a population of 900. As a plantation society wealth grew during its glory days from 1760 to 1820 and along with that parties, balls, and yes, horse racing. President Washington visited the town on his southern tour as did the Marquis de Lafayette.
And with town development there was more need for taverns with room accommodations.
Next, a Masonic Temple was built.
Then a court building was needed.
As well as a law office..
And a jail.
Halifax was instrumental to the start of the American Revolution as plantation owners joined to draft the Halifax Resolve, a request for county independence.
One of the main initiators of this document was Joseph Monfort. This man was clerk of the court, a member of the assembly, a Mason, and a prominent businessman. His home of Georgian architecture was recreated with the original cellar left intact and exposed. For all those architecture buffs the Monfort Archaeological Museum is a wonder. Below is the home and some archaeological pictures of the site.
Historic Halifax began through the efforts of volunteers. Later the state purchased the property and created a state park, however these volunteers remain involved. While visiting I met a volunteer restoring a home on a nearby parcel of land which will become part of the Historic Halifax exhibit upon completion.
The Bradford House was the home of a Methodist minister who besides preaching also ran an academy for females in the 1820’s. His daughter married the great great grandson of Thomas Jefferson. The couple then moved to Tallahassee and founded Florida State University.
When the family heard of the home being moved to the site they donated the proceeds for the renovation.
Whew! What an active place Historic Halifax is.
And don’t forget to mark your calendar for September 21st.