Winter Tea Party winners: Angela's book,THE SCARLET COAT, will go to: Print copy- Andrea Stephens; e-book copy - Catherine Wight!

LUCY REYNOLDS has a table topper quilt on the way, and winners of the Valentine Ebook Collection are: Deanna Stevens, Caryl Kane, Anne Payne and Winnie Thomas. With thanks to all who joined in!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Off the Beaten Path - Halifax, NC, by Carrie Fancett Pagels


During a recent trip to North Carolina, we saw signage along the interstate, for Historic Halifax. We determined to stop and pay a visit to this site.  If you are a University of North Carolina alumnus, then you may know that William R. Davie, the founder of the University had a beautiful home here in this busy colonial and early American town. 




As the pointed out in on the sign, left, William R. Davie was a Revolutionary War hero and more! He was also the tenth governor of North Carolina.



Keep in mind, as you look at recent photographs of colonial and early American buildings, that they may well have been altered. For instance, a plaque in front of the Davies' home (which is much more impressive in person than in my photograph) states that the external chimneys (seen in my second picture, in the background) were originally interior chimneys. We had once heard that only the wealthy could afford chimneys within their homes as it meant they could afford to rebuild if they had a fire. Don't know if that is the reason. Maybe our readers will share?


Owens House, Halifax, NC Circa 1760
The 1760 era Owens House was the home of a prosperous merchant. There is a river that runs nearby that surely has its own tale to tell of the many early colonists who traveled along it to towns in North Carolina! 

Visiting this town brought to mind President Jimmy Carter's American Revolutionary War book, one of my favorites.

Don't forget to stop at the Visitors' Center, if you decide like we did, to go off the beaten path!  In their literature, they describe Halifax as, "An important political, social, and commercial center of Revolutionary and post-Revolutionary northeastern North Carolina." With its strategic location, I imagine this was a hopping place.



The Eagle Tavern may have been a place of much celebration, especially when the Marquise de Lafayette came to town! I am still wondering about the design. I have a theory, which may not be correct, but I wonder if one door was for the women to come into. If like other taverns of its time, food was the primary substance served, then perhaps. I conjecture because in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, there is an old tavern that likewise had two separate entrances--male and female. Not sure for the Eagle Tavern.

If you were looking for ale, you'd head to that brown barn like structure you see in the background of the picture, above.


I think this might have been a very "cozy" place! I can imagine the towns' men gathering here, elbow to elbow, fomenting the notion of liberty.  This Tap Room in Halifax dates from 1760. The residents in the area were reported to be staunch Patriots (or Rebels, if you were British occupier!)  The entire town is reported to have served as a supply depot for the Colonials. And they were punished for it by the English, when they took over.  


And if you were in town during that time, you daren't think of stealing a horse, for the punishments you'd face. According to the sign, above, one man had his ears nailed to the pillory, both ears cut off, was branded with H on right cheek and S on left.  Then he took 29 lashes "well laid on".  Yikes!  (But if he'd been in Virginia, he may have been hung - especially if this had been a second offense.)

Question: When you travel, do you try to visit historic sites? Do you go off the beaten path? Do you regret it or savor the journey? 

Giveaway: A copy of Christmas Traditions eight-in-one ebook, just released!

Bio: Carrie Fancett Pagels is the author of The Fruitcake Challenge, a Selah Finalist, which is  now part of the newly released Christmas Traditions Eight in One Collection. 

17 comments:

  1. I've seen signs, but we're usually in a hurry to get to the beach. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. It took a bit of arm twisting, and it was pretty hot out, but it was a nice side trip, Jackie!

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  2. Been there, Carrie! It's only about an hour from me. It's a great place for field trips for our county. Nice place!
    Susan in NC
    susanlulu@yahoo.com

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    1. Wish I had gotten to see you! Maybe next time I'm down that way!

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  3. HI Carrie! I love all things historic! Since I have family in North Carolina, I hope to be able to visit some of these places in person. Thank you for sharing! One time, my daughters and I set out in the car just driving, no particular destination in mind. Our only prerequisite was that we would stop at all historical markers and get out to "investigate".

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  4. Great photos! Yes, Hubby and I love to veer off the beaten path whenever possible. Love those out-of-the-way historical gems.

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    1. My hubs is such a good sport, Pegg! Sounds like yours is, too!

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  5. Great post and pictures Carrie!
    I don't do a lot of traveling, however, the many years traveling back and forth to Roanoke, Va we pass by signs for the National Bridge and often said we would stop. On one trip my sister and I decided to stop and take a tour. It was very interesting, glad we stopped.
    Blessings,Tina

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    1. It makes the long drives so much more fun and informative to learn something, too, Tina! Thanks for coming by!

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  6. We only take the Interstates to arrive quicker to the back roads we want to take. My husband is great at finding obscure little roads that lead to the most interesting places. Every trip, every day, we visit some historical site.

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    1. You hubs is a man after my own heart, Melinda, taking you to some historical sites and finding the back roads! My hubs calls two lane roads "death roads" lol--he's from the Chicago area!

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  7. I do love visiting historical sites. However, I don't trave much. Growing up, my Dad was a dairy farmer, so trips were quick visits to Grandma's for a holiday. But I did get to go to DC once. That was so exciting!!!

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    1. I haven't traveled much in the past four years because I could barely walk, Kate. But PTL, I've had PRP procedure done after an Achilles repair didn't work and I'm walking again! DC scares me but it has so much history there!

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  8. We don't stop at the historical markers nearly often enough for me...lol. Unfortunately we are usually in a hurry to get where we are going, so the plan is always to return. My dream is to someday travel through the eastern states on the byways and literally live the history. The quick trip was made years ago, so now we need to plan for the stop and learn trip :)

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    1. That has often been the case for us, too, Betti, but since I can actually stand and walk now and do a few things we are trying to enjoy that. This wouldn't have been an option last year!

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  9. Glad you took a bit of a trip and saw some of our NC history. Halifax is a 2 hr. drive from where I live in NC and I've not been there. But there is a wealth of history in this colonial state. If ever you're in the middle of the state, Hillsborough, NC is a good little spot. There is a lot of history in Wilmington, NC and they have restored some of the river waterfront in the old downtown area and a lot of the historic houses. Wilmington is my hometown but I now live in the middle of the state.

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