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|
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.