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La Grange Town

La Grange Town Hall is located at 203 South Center Street, La Grange, NC 28551; phone: 252-566-3186.

Beginnings [1]

The Town of La Grange was originally named Moseley Hall for a nearby plantation. It is located in western Lenoir County, exemplifies the small railroad towns that took shape in North Carolina's coastal plain primarily during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The town developed alongside the Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad, which in 1858 linked the port of Morehead City to the town of Goldsboro (the eastern terminus of the North Carolina Railroad). La Grange thrived as a small rural market center, particularly during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The buildings that grew up around and adjacent to the railroad corridor endure as a cohesive collection of historic resources that illustrate a range of mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth century architectural styles.

The town was incorporated in 1869 and named La Grange for the Parisian estate of the Revolutionary War hero LaFayette.

The railroad connections opened distant markets for the agricultural products of the area, thereby boosting both the cash-crop economy and LaGrange's role as a market center and shipping point. Cotton was the main cash crop in Lenoir County in the mid-nineteenth century, but as prices dropped steadily throughout the 1870s and 1880s, profits declined. When brightleaf tobacco cultivation began in earnest in 1895, it quickly supplanted cotton as the economic mainstay.

  1. Frances P. Alexander, Richard L. Mattson and Mary Beth Gatza, Mattson, Alexander & Associates, La Grange Historic District, Lenoir County, N.C., nomination document, 1999, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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