Williamston was an important trade center and Roanoke
River port from the 1730s. After 1882, the railroad and tobacco planting
revitalized the town as a commercial market. Two National Register
Historic Districts highlight 19th and early 20th century life.
Two National Register Historic Districts highlight 19th and early 20th century
life and can be seen upclose on a self-guided walking tour. The town now
hosts thousands of visitors each year to the Sen. Bob Martin Eastern
Agricultural Center, a premiere equestrian show facility. Downtown, visitors
enjoy home cooking at the R&C Restaurant and watching Main Street go by from
the booths of Clark's, featuring a soda and ice cream fountain, coffee and
cookies, and packaged snacks. Try a vanilla Coke or Orangeade before stepping
onto the Skewarkee Trail, a mile-long, pavedÂ former rail corridor that runs from
downtown to the Roanoke River, perfect for a walk, bike ride or rollerblading.
Thousands of visitors each year visit Williamston during the annual Carolina
Country Stampede the last weekend in September. And the Roanoke River welcomes
paddlers, bird watchers and nature lovers on the Roanoke River Paddle Trail and
Canoe Camping System. Seven platforms allow visitors to spend the night in the
Historic sites located in and around Williamston are:
Asa Biggs House
This 1835 home reflects local adaptations of Federal and Greek Revival styles popular when it
was built and remodeled. It was the home
of Asa Biggs, a former US Senator and federal judge prominent in the politics
of the day. The Biggs family remained in the home until 1862 when they fled the
threat of invading Union troops.
Fort Branch Civil War Site
A significant Civil War Site overlooking the Roanoke River, Fort Branch is known as "the best preserved earthwork Civil War site east of the Mississippi." Seven of the fort’s original eleven cannons are on display there. Stop by nearby hamilton for a self-guided walking tour of its National Register Historic District featuring a Rosenwald School, Queen Anne homes and Gothic cottages, and the 1882 Gothic-Victorian St. martin's Episcopal Church.
St. James Place Museum
This restored primitive Baptist church in Robersonville serves as a fascinating museum of southern folk art. Late, clapboard Gothic revival architecture church building now houses original furnishings, folk art, and antique duck decoys .
Old Martin County Courthouse
One of 12 courthouses built in the state between 1860 and 1900. It is an excellent example of an eclectic blend of Italian and Victorian elements.
Martin County Arts Council
Gallery open Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Changing displays of art and crafts. Gift shop, too.
Tobacco Warehouse Auction
A quickly vanishing tradition, the late summer auction of "the golden leaf" is a feast for the senses...pungent smells of the cured leaf, auctioneer harking the mystical language of leaf buyers, and dust rising from the floor as the auction line moves slowly between the long piles of tobacco. Rogers Warehouse in Williamston is the only remaining active auction warehouse in Martin County.
Martin County will also be part of the North Carolina Civil War Trails in 2004.