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Weldon Town

Weldon Town Hall is located at 109 Washington Avenue, Weldon, NC 27890; phone: 252-536-4836.

Beginnings [1]

Initial development at "Weldon's Orchard" was connected with the construction of the Roanoke Canal between 1816 and 1834, an artificial waterway made necessary by the Roanoke River's nearby "great-falls," the culmination of an eighty-five-foot drop along nine miles. Just as the canal was meeting its first financial successes during the 1830s, Weldon's Orchard — the town was not incorporated until 1843 — became the termination points of the first railroads in the state: the Petersburg Railroad in 1833; the Portsmouth and Roanoke Railroad in 1837, each starting in their respective Virginia cities; the Wilmington and Raleigh Railroad (renamed Wilmington and Weldon in 1854) in 1840; and the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad ... also in 1840. The Weldon of today is a direct product of the challenges and advancements of these railroads, and the community has deep commercial and personal ties as a "railroad town." The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries saw the consolidation and modernization of the railroads, the development of automobile transportation, and a continual expansion of the town's commercial offerings. It is during this latter period that the vast majority of the district's resources were constructed, transforming the old canal and railroad community into a town of modern, stylistically up-to-date buildings. Of particular note was the start in the 1890s of a Jewish merchant community that by 1912 had become large enough to establish a synagogue, a remarkable achievement in a small town of less than 2,000 residents in overwhelmingly Protestant eastern North Carolina.

  1. Tom Butchko, Weldon Historic District, Halifax County, N.C. nomination document, 1996, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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