North Carolina-Halifax County-May 21

North Carolina People, Places, and Things-May 21

I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.

In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special.

Halifax County was formed in 1758 from Edgecombe County. It received its name from George Montague, second Earl of Halifax and president of the British Board of Trade and Plantations.

Map of Halifax County shown below in red.


Halifax County is also well known as the birthplace of the Halifax Resolves. This pre-revolutionary resolution passed on April 12, 1776, empowered North Carolina delegates at the Second Continental Congress to work with delegates from other colonies in declaring independence from Great Britain. The first resolution of its kind, the Halifax Resolves are still recognized today, commemorated on the state flag, and celebrated as Halifax Day in the county.

The date of April 12th can be seen at bottom left of North Carolina state flag.


I have to say that I learned about the Halifax Resolves in a very interesting way.

In 2013 I made a trip to Charlotte, NC to pay a visit to Mr. Irwin “Ike” Belk. Ike Belk is a great benefactor of many North Carolina universities including UNC Pembroke. Mr.Belk has the athletic facility named in his honor at UNCP. That facility houses the track and football stadium. On that visit Mr. Belk gave me an complete and detailed history of what happened in Halifax County in 1776.

Photo of Belk Complex at UNCP


(l-r) Former UNCP Chancellor Kyle Carter-Mr. Irwin “Ike” Belk and Dan Kenney during a 2013 visit.

Ike Belk Chancellor Carter

During our visit to Mr. Belk’s office not only did he give me quite a history lesson but explained the origin of the dates on the state flag. I have to say that one hour visit with Mr. Belk was a great afternoon and I learned a lot. Mr. Belk turned 94 last month.

Although the county seat is Halifax, the town of Roanoke Rapids is better known to tourists for its numerous historical sights, including the Roanoke Canal Museum and Trail, and as the birthplace of a few famous people.

The late George Grizzard, Tony and Emmy winning actor, hails from Roanoke Rapids, as does contemporary rock musician Chris Daughtry and former MLB pitcher Brian Barnes.

Other towns located in Halifax County are Brinkleyville, Butterwood, Conoconnara, Enfield, Faucett, Littleton, Palmyra, Roseneath, Scotland Neck, and Weldon.





One comment

  1. My grandmother Locke’s family settled in Halifax County in 1767, so I feel a special affinity for the historic area. Today, I-95 runs right by their “swamp”, and they never imagined that millions of people would be passing so close to their rural district. I’ve done extensive research on the area, and publish a regular newsletter about my family’s colorful past. Vann Helms

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