By Patsy Pridgen, Rocky Mount Telegram:
Last week, I wrote about my delightful trip with the Rocky Mount Garden Club to Finch Nursery and the Leaning Tree in Bailey. The day after this excursion, I went on a very different one with a very different group. On a somewhat chilly, misty Friday, I explored Historic Halifax with grandson Sammy’s third-grade class from Rocky Mount Academy.
Forty minutes north of Rocky Mount, Halifax is an easy drive via either Interstate 95 or U.S. 301. I knew the town had restored relics of its colonial past and had promised myself that one day I’d go for a tour. I’m glad I finally did.
Who needs a trip to Williamsburg, Va., I learned, when there’s Halifax, the “Early River Port Town of the Roanoke Valley”? Granted, Williamsburg is much larger and there is that outlet shopping feature nearby, but Halifax is every bit as much an authentic depiction of American life in the 1700s.
Apart from being a bustling colonial town, Halifax also earned its place in Revolutionary War history. I learned about the Halifax Resolves, the first legislation enacted by an entire colony calling for independence from England. This important piece of legislation was signed by North Carolina’s Fourth Provincial Congress, which met April 12, 1776, in none other than Halifax. Today, that date is on the state flag.
I learned other facts, important and trivial. The Tuscarora Indians inhabited not only Halifax but the entire eastern part of North Carolina. Colonial men’s shoes were interchangeable — no left or right — to evenly distribute wear and thus prolong the life of the shoe.