Williamston, located in northeastern North Carolina, is a quaint town with a rich history. Here are seven historical events that have taken place in or near Williamston.
1. Battle of Plymouth: During the Civil War, Williamston was a strategic location for the Confederate Army. The Battle of Plymouth started on April 17, 1864, as Union Navy ships sailed up the Roanoke River to attack Confederate Fort Branch in Plymouth. The two sides clashed for three days until the Confederate troops eventually surrendered on April 20. The battle led to the Union Army gaining control of the Roanoke River and other parts of eastern North Carolina.
2. Martin County Courthouse Fire: On December 2, 1878, the Martin County Courthouse in Williamston was destroyed by a massive fire. The fire spread quickly and destroyed important paperwork and documents. This led to many legal disputes and challenges for the county.
3. Atlantic Coast Line Train Wreck: On December 21, 1925, a passenger train owned by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad collided with a freight train in Hamilton, just outside of Williamston. The wreck killed eight people and injured many more. The cause of the accident was determined to be human error.
4. Martin County Fair: The Martin County Fair has a long history, dating back to the late 1800s. The fair was originally held in Williamston and featured livestock shows, parades, and other events. Today, the fair is still held annually and draws visitors from all over the region.
5. Hurricane Hazel: On October 15, 1954, Hurricane Hazel made landfall near the North Carolina-South Carolina border. The storm caused significant damage in Williamston and other nearby towns. Many homes and businesses were destroyed, and some areas experienced severe flooding.
6. Civil Rights Protests: In the 1960s, Williamston was a site of significant civil rights protests. In 1963, a group of African American students from a nearby college held a sit-in at a local lunch counter, demanding equal treatment. The protest drew national attention and helped to galvanize the civil rights movement in the region.
7. Martin County Memorial Hospital: The Martin County Memorial Hospital was built in the early 1900s and served as a vital medical facility for the region. Over the years, the hospital has undergone many changes and renovations. Today, it continues to provide medical care to residents of Williamston and the surrounding areas.
These events serve as a reminder of the rich history of Williamston and its role in shaping the region's story. From the Civil War to the civil rights movement, the town has been a witness to significant moments in history. As we look towards the future, it is important to remember these events and honor the individuals who fought for progress and change in Williamston and beyond.
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