(Editor’s Note: Each weekday in March we will be featuring a city in North Carolina in our “Marching Through North Carolina” series aimed at getting to know your state better from the mountains to the coast. In our firm, we serve all of North Carolina and enjoy learning about what makes us the same and different throughout the Tar Heel state. If you have any tidbits or suggestions about a featured city, please leave a comment on that city or town’s blog post.)
County: Nash & Edgecombe County
Rocky Mount was not incorporated until 1867, but that is not where the history of the area begins. In 1816, at the Falls of the Tar River, the first post office in the area was established. This was the first time “Rocky Mount” appeared in documented history. Like many towns in North Carolina, the construction of railroads served as a boom for both population and economy, but in Rocky Mount the growth was not felt immediately. Where other towns would simply be a point of importing and exporting goods made in the area, the Rocky Mount train station offered something unique due to its location. Many railroad travelers would utilize the Rocky Mount-Tarboro staging area to head east and west after traveling either north and south. In the mid 1800’s, Rocky Mount would finally see its population rise due to the railroad as more and more railroad workers started calling the town home.
In addition to the railroad, tobacco played a big part in the early days of Rocky Mount’s prosperity. The tobacco industry in the town served as the main reason for the first bank to be established in Rocky Mount in 1889.
Through the years, Rocky Mount continued to grow and would win two All-American City Awards (1970 and 1999) due to the ability for the leaders and citizens to make the area better for families and children. For more on the history of Rocky Mount, including historic pictures, please click here.
Rocky Mount is a very centrally located area on the east coast of the United States. The city hosts many family reunions, business meetings, seminars and conferences due to its location on I-95 and 64. Recently, Rocky Mount constructed a sports complex on Business 301 right outside of the downtown area. The sports complex hosts many sporting events which allows the area to be exposed to thousands of out of town and out of state residents each year.
When visiting Rocky Mount, City Lake serves as a great place to take a minute or two to relax. Built in 1937, the man made water way offers a place for residents to run, jog, walk and relax under tall hardwoods and pines.
Blog Informational Resources:
Hardison & Cochran Pictures from Rocky Mount, North Carolina: