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Historic Windsor NC

Historic Windsor NC

Historic Windsor NC is a town established over 250 years ago in Bertie County, North Carolina, United States. It was a major site for social and economic events at the time and was made the county seat of Bertie in 1774, six years after it was founded. It has held the position ever since. 

The town was founded as a port on the Cashie River to provide a commercial center for the thriving agricultural and lumber industry in the region. It possesses enough scenic views and attractions to make it a great place for tourists to visit. It also has a high number of religious centers, examples of which are the St. Thomas' Episcopal Church, Cashie Baptist Church, and Windsor United Methodist Church.

In 1991, Windsor entered the National Register of Historic Places (NHRP). Amongst the places listed are the:

  • Bertie Memorial Hospital 
  • Freeman Hotel
  • Liberty Hall
  • King House
  • Windsor Historic District 
  • And others. 

History

Bertie County was established in 1722 and was settled in by people from neighbouring Virginia and North Carolina. The county's population grew as the years passed and with it, a thriving agricultural economy. Soon, there was a need for a commercial center for agricultural products in the region. 

To resolve this, the Colonial Assembly, in 1768, established the town of Windsor on a 100-acre tract of land. 

In 1773, the citizens of the county petitioned to make Historic Windsor NC the county seat of Bertie; the petition gained approval in 1774. This act boosted the growth of the town and eventually led to it being the social and economic center of the county. 

The growth of the town entered a period of stagnation between 1790 and 1840, but was revived by the advent of the cotton industry in the 1850s. The town's economy grew further towards the end of the nineteenth century as a result of the lumber industry. The town's population, which increased over three times its previous size around this period, reflected the growth. Unfortunately, the period of prosperity ushered by the lumber industry lasted only into the 1920s. 

Since 1950, the town ceased to dominate the county in commerce and society. Today, larger neighbouring towns like Edenton and Williamston have overshadowed it.

Historic, Cultural And Recreational Attractions

Historic Windsor NC is home to a considerable number of historical landmarks and recreational sites. It is a notable kayaking destination in the Inner Banks region of North Carolina. It is also listed in the Civil War Discovery Trail. This is because it is the site for the Skirmish at Windsor where Union gunboats from Plymouth engaged a small regiment of 42nd Georgia Calvary in 1864. 

The town is one of the places listed in the National Register of Historic Places as it contains amongst others: the King House, and the Windsor Historic District which includes the earliest constructed structures in the town.

Some of the most visited places in the town are:

Hope Plantation

This plantation was built in 1803 by David Stone and is located near Windsor, North Carolina. The plantation house is of Palladian design, built-in timber, and is furnished with a unique collection of art, furniture, and artifacts. 

Hope Plantation is one of the places listed in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. 

On the grounds of the plantation are the Hope Mansion, the 1763 King Bazemore House, outbuildings, a barn, and archaeological sites. In 1965, the Historic Hope Foundation acquired the house and opened the buildings to the public. 

Bertie County Courthouse

The Courthouse was built in 1889. It is a 2½ story brick building with a gable roof topped by a cupola. The courthouse is a part of the Windsor Historic District and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

Windsor Historic District

Windsor possesses enough examples of architecture from the eighteenth to the early twentieth century to form an historic district that reflects the growth of the town. This district contains the entire area of the town that was first laid down. It includes the oldest residential, religious and commercial structures of the town. 

The district includes a complementary set of buildings that are special because they, as a whole, represent the town's main periods of growth. 

Livermon Park And Mini Zoo

The Livermon Park and Mini zoo is home to a wide array of animals and birds. There are buffalo, alpacas, llamas, emus, peafowls, goats, miniature donkeys and ponies, a zebra, roosters, turkeys, rams, cows, and much more. 

There are lots of playground equipment, many picnic tables, and a well-maintained restroom. There's also a boardwalk through the woods that leads to the nearby River Center. Admission into the park is free as is viewing the animals. 

Roanoke-Cashie River Center

The River Center is located on the Cashie River. It has various programs and exhibits on the natural and cultural heritage of Windsor and the surrounding areas.

Amongst the featured exhibits are: 

  • The river's bottomland hardwood forests
  • Fish migrating from the sea to the river
  • Migratory birds and their relationship with the forests of the area
  • Active beehives
  • And others.

There is a boardwalk along the river for fishing and strolling, and rental canoes as well as pontoon boat rides. 

Cashie Wetlands Walk

Wetlands are transitional zones between land and water. They can be marshes, wet grasslands, wooded swampland, or seasonally flooded lowlands. 

The Cashie Wetlands Walk contains a boardwalk along the river. This has an observation deck that allows the viewing of migratory birds and other swampland creatures in their habitats. It also provides access to the swamp floor so that visitors can experience the nature of the wetlands. There are canoes and piers available for free. This allows visitors to navigate several miles of the river and observe the dynamics of the freshwater ecosystem. 

Historic Windsor Today

The town is small with a population of 3630 as of the 2010 census. Its development has been slow in the past decades, and it has retained its historical and cultural heritage. 

It has a fine network of kayaks and canoe to navigate the river for recreational purposes. Ancient buildings and structures such as the Historic Hope Plantation, and the Windsor Historic District, are available to the public. These, and others, have made Windsor NC known all over as a favored site of tourist attraction. 

Looking for other Historic Areas across Eastern North Carolina?

Please check out our complete list of sites and other historical attractions in the Eastern North Carolina area here:  The Historic Albemarle Trail.

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