Historic Sites

Freedom Rallies

Williamston was a hotspot of the Civil Rights Movement and Green Memorial Church was the epicenter. Protesters made it their goal to desegregate schools and the public library. Organizing the efforts were a local woman, Sarah Small, and Golden Frinks of Edenton, a friend of Martin Luther King Jr. Remarkably, the non-violent protests continued for …

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Roanoke River Underground Railroad Trail Signs

The Roanoke River became one of several regional river escape routes for the complex network in our country known as the Underground Railroad. Discover markers at the Rosenwald School in Hamilton, at Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge office in Windsor, and at the Charles Kuralt Trail parking lot off Hwy 17 north near Williamston.

Historic Rosenwald School and River Center

Check out signage on the historic grounds at the circa 1920 Hamilton Rosenwald School (formerly known as the Hamilton Colored School) and down at the Hamilton Boat Ramp. Eventually, the renovated school will serve as a river/visitor-community center and an interpretive site to celebrate both the region’s Rosenwald School and its Underground Railroad history

Reid’s Grove Rosenwald School

Still on its original site, the Reid’s Grove School educated African American students. Completed on November 5, 1927 and closed in December 1951, it was one of seven schools in Gates County (and one of over 800 in North Carolina) financed by Julius Rosenwald, president of Sears, Roebuck and Company, in collaboration with Booker T. Washington, African-American Educator, to educate black students …

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Somerset Place State Historic Site

This historic site offers a realistic view of 19th-century life on a large-scale North Carolina plantation. In 1785, Somerset Place became an active plantation and remained active until 1865. Most programs and exhibits at the site evoke life there in 1843. By 1860, Somerset Place was one of only four North Carolina plantations with over …

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North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island | Richard Etheridge Family Cemetery

The cemetery of Richard Etheridge and his family resides on the grounds of the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island.  Just outside the entry gates, this historic location is open to all visitors and does not require aquarium admission to visit.  The fenced gravesite features the headstones of Etheridge and his family, along with a …

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North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island | James Melvin Gallery

Richard Etheridge and the great watermen who served with him in the late 1800s at the only all-black lifesaving station on Pea Island are commemorated by African-American artist James Melvin.  Painted in the 1980s, these paintings reside as an exhibit inside the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island.  Access to the exhibit requires aquarium admission.

Maritime Underground Railroad Waterfront

National Park Service Underground Railway Network to Freedom, Maritime Underground Railroad Site, Waterfront Park, located at the foot of South Broad Street. The Maritime Underground Railroad was composed of a network of African American watermen who worked with individuals of other races and occupations to identify sympathetic seamen to arrange passage on ships for freedom-seekers …

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Historic Edenton Trolley Tour

For visitors (and residents) wanting to experience a leisurely tour of Edenton and learn about its 300-year history, hop aboard the Edenton Trolley Tour. The guided tour is one of many fun things to do in Edenton, showcasing notable sites throughout the Downtown Historic District and supporting historical residences of Edenton’s citizens; the African American …

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Harriet Jacobs Tour

Hear the amazing tale of Harriet Jacobs, a woman born into slavery in Edenton, who escaped to become a well-known abolitionist and author.  As documented in her 1861 autobiography, “Incidents in the life of a Slave Girl”, this walking tour shares history and takes you through downtown Edenton to see many of the sites mentioned …

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