Located on the Roanoke River, the town of Halifax developed into
a commercial and political center at the time of American
Revolution. Scheduled guided tours take you into several authentically
restored and furnished buildings. These include the 1760 home of a merchant,
the law office of a nineteenth-century attorney, and the 1808 home of a
wealthy planter. The 1833 clerk's office, a jail, the Eagle Tavern museum,
and the Tap Room tavern, which offers the visitor a hands-on experience, are
After the American Revolution broke out in 1775, North Carolina moved towards supporting independence from Britain. On April 12, 1776, North Carolina authorized her delegates to the Continental Congress to vote for independence. This was the first official action by a colony calling for independence. The 83 delegates present in Halifax at the Fourth Provincial Congress unanimously adopted the document called The Halifax Resolves.
The Halifax Resolves were important not only because they were the first official action calling for independence, but also because they were not unilateral recommendations. They were instead recommendations directed to all the colonies and their delegates assembled at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.
Other site features reflect everyday life in Halifax: Magazine Spring, long a
source of water for townspeople; the cemetery; Market Square, which served as
the town park, pasture, and marketplace; and the river outlook, near the site of
an early ferry landing.
The Historic Halifax Visitor Center offers an audiovisual
presentation, exhibits, and displays on the history of the town and the
Roanoke valley. Guided tours originate here and visitors are urged to make
the center their first stop. In addition to the historic structures, the
Montfort Archaeology Exhibit is available for tour. Constructed over the excavation of Joseph Montfort's house, the
building--through exhibits and walkways over foundations exposed by the
scholar's spade and trowel--portrays the life style of this wealthy resident of
early Halifax. A spacious picnic area is nearby.
April 12 is Halifax Day, the anniversary of the adoption of
the Halifax Resolves, and the site celebrates the anniversary with special activities.