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Bertie County, North Carolina

The Towns and Communities of Original Bertie County

Townships of Bertie County

AHOSKIE
Now in Hertford County. Name is of Indian Origin and has variant spellings of Ahotsky and Ahostskey appearing in early land records around 1719. Original post office (1828) was Ahosky Ridge. According to Marilyn Livingston "Ahotsky is a Tuscaroran word. The first part Ahots means horse, don't know what the sky stands for. In the Woccon language Yenwetoa means A horse. So Ahoskie means a loose translation of horse something.

AULANDER

The next largest town is Aulander, originally called Harmon's Crossroads. Andrew J. Dunning, a prominent landowner in the area, wanted to call the town Orlando after the Florida city, but when this was opposed by postal authorities, he altered the spelling to Aulander, but kept the pronunciation of Orlando.

Aulander was incorporated in 1873. Many interesting descriptions are available in Alan Watson's book as he quotes from the commissioners minutes.    History of Churches of Aulander

ASKEWVILLE

A small town in central Bertie County, named for a local family. Settled in the 1890's. Incorporated in 1951. Often referred to as "the center of the county's tobacco belt".

BUENA VISTA
Located at the crossroads of US 13N and Early Station Road (# 1228) and Askewville Road (#1304) in the central part of the county. Listed on the 1861 Gilmer Map.

BRITTON'S STORE (See Roxobel)

CASHIE
The name of the town where the original courthouse was located which later became part of Northampton County.

COLERAIN

Lying in the northeast corner, Colerain was established in 1794. It was named by its founder, John Campbell, for his home in Coleraine, County Londonderry, Ireland. When it was established as a post office in 1818, the final e was dropped. Located one mile from the Chowan River, it has always been a fishing center.

CONNARITSA
Community in nw Bertie County at location of early bridge across the Cashie River. (Road 1259 just north of junction of Road 1200)

COTTEN'S CROSS ROADS (now Roxobel)

CREMO
A small community in the north central part of Bertie County, one mile from the intersections of Sally Freeman Road (#1315) and Cremo Road (#1313). Cremo was created as a stop for the Wellington and Powellsville Railroad to move mail, produce, merchandise and passengers between Windsor and Ahoskie. According to local lore, the father of Doris Cowan was asked to come up with a name for the stop and selected Cremo after the Cremo cigar. Alphonso J. Early appointed first postmaster, 31 May 1904.

DREW
Drew was the stop on the railroad halfway between Windsor and Woodville. It is still known as "Drew Station" today at the crossroad. The rail no longer exists, but the post office was named after the Drew family.

ELM GROVE
Small community located at junction of roads #1307(Elm Grove Road) and #1310 (Exter Road) right on the line of upper Windsor Township and southern Colerain Township. The name derived from the grove of elm trees growing there. Nathanial Jernigan started the Elm Grove Grocery. In fact, it was earlier known as Jernigantown! The Jernigan Schoolhouse is located at this intersection. The original landowners of much of the land on both Exter and Elm Grove Roads were Jernigans. At the other end of Exter Road was the Exter Schoolhouse.

EVANSVILLE (Pine Ridge)
Evansville is now know as Pine Ridge community. There was a post office their as late as the 1910's. It's ca 3 miles south of Perrytown, ca 3 miles east of Todds Cross, ca 7 miles southwest of Colerain.
Evansville is what we now think was a stop on the Wellington and Powellsville Railroad near the present day Askewville. Branning Post office was also on the same Railroad line. The W&P was owned by Branning Manufactoring Company, a lumber producer. It was a narrow gauge 27 mile long RR connecting what is now Ahoskie with Windsor. It was removed circa 1960s.Harry Thompson
In a letter dated January 19, 1924 from Wm. Lawrence Baker to his cousin Ledru Baker in Oklahoma, Lawrence stated that the "Evansville Post Office had been done away with about 5 years ago". This would have been ca. 1919. I have been told the Evansville Post Office was located in the Pine Ridge community between Windsor and Colerain. Neil Baker

GRANBURY (See Roxobel)

GREENS CROSS ROADS
(Earlier known as Oakie Woods) William Green, original settler. Located North of Windsor on Hwy 17 going east after junction with 1001.

HARMON'S CROSSROADS (see Aulander)

HEXLENA Incorporated in 1899 but only existed until 1905. Located west of Powellsville and near Ahoskie.

HOTEL In 1862 this was the township which is now Woodville Township. The area was known as Hotel Woodville around 1840. See Lewiston below.

HOWARD
Howard was the name given to the Post Office at the company store set up adjacent to the Greenlief-Johnson's Lumber Company site on the Cashie River at what we now refer to as Ellis Store location, and was actually in the store. Mr. Ellis was the first postmaster. It is half way between Windsor and Sans Souci Store down highway #308. Believe it or not, "Howard" was the name of Mr. Johnson's son, one of the mill owners.

INDIAN WOODS
The Indian Woods Community lies in the south-central part of the county, and was the area which in 1717 was established as a reservation for the Tuscarora Indians who had survived the coming of the white colonists and their desires for land.

Most of the tribe eventually left for New York and the reservation was sold by the state in 1828 and turned into plantations.
The Indian Woods Road running easte-west crosses the area. One of the largest estates was Liberty Hall, belonging to Edward R. Outlaw, a sheriff, Confederate Army captain and state legislator.

Indian Woods is still called that to this day by the locals. Any Bertie County person can point you to it. It lies in the western part of Bertie, running from the north side of Highway 17 and running northward almost to Lewiston. The western boundry is the Roanoke River. The eastern boundary generally runs along a line about five miles west of Windsor.

KELFORD

Kelford is about two miles south of Roxobel and three miles northeast of the Roanoke River. It was laid out in 1890 by S.A. Norfleet and named for a fjord in Scotland. It is a predominantly black community.

LEWISTON

Originally called Turner's Cross Roads in 1816. Later known as Hotel Woodville and just Hotel around 1840. In 1872, the name was changed to Lewiston for a Mr. Watson Lewis, the postmaster. [ Bible Record ] Mr. Lewis and his wife are buried in the Griffin family cemetery. It joins the town of Woodville, and they have always been known as the twin towns of Bertie.
On several old maps Lewiston is shown inside a triangle just north of Woodville.   See also History of Lewiston Church (St. Frances Methodist)   More history about Lewiston

MERRY HILL (not incorporated)
Located in the southeast part of the county it was named for Webb family plantation of this name on which it developed. Post Office established: 1822. The Society Parish (Church of England) created in 1722,(before that it was Southwest Parish, Chowan Co 1715) was located in the Merry Hill area on Duckenfield land.

Earlier name was Nichol's Cross Roads after the Nichols family who lived there. More history of Merry Hill NICHOL'S CROSS ROADS (See Merry Hill)

OAKIE WOODS (See Greens Cross Roads)

PINE RIDGE
Formerly known as Evansville. There was a post office their as late as the 1910's. It's ca 3 miles south of Perrytown, ca 3 miles east of Todds Cross, ca 7 miles southwest of Colerain.

POWELLSVILLE
Located in northeast Bertie County, one mile southeast of the Bertie/Hertford County line at the convergence of Routes 13N and 42, this small town was named for a local family and was first known as Powell's Crossroads as early as 28 April 1860. (Listed as same on the 1861 Gilmer Map.) The first postmaster, John C. Britton, was appointed 12 September 1879. Incorporated as a town 06 March 1919. According to early residents, "Powell" was first pronounced "Poll".

QUITSNA
Small community in SW Bertie on Indian Woods Road (#1108). Name from Quitonoi, a Tuscarora Indian word meaning "strong and mighty".

REPUBLICAN Located in west central Bertie where County Roads #1225 and #1227 join. It took its from the Republican Baptist Church (est 1828), and that name originated because the church building was used as a community center. It is noted on the Gilmer CSA maps.

RHODES PLACE CROSSROADS Rhodes Place Crossroads is located about 5 mi. south of Aulander, between Aulander and Francis Mill. It is at the intersection of County Road # 1209 and County Road # 1200. County Road # 1200 runs from a point near Hoggards Cemetary on Hwy. 11 north of Lewiston-Woodville to Rhodes Place and on to Connaritsa. There is a crossroads sign at this intersection that says RHODES.

ROSEMEAD
Rosemead is a small community in NE Bertie County. It is on S.R. 1314 which intersects US42 southwest of Colerain. Complete History

ROXOBEL
Roxobel is located in the northwest section of the county near Aulander. Originally known as Cotten's Cross Roads(1724), then Granbery Cross Roads (1756)and Britton's Store(Wm Britton from Petersburg, VA came in 1815), and finally in 1849, Roxobel. This was from a suggestion of Frances Norfleet after reading the English novel, Roxobel: A Village Tale by Mary Martha Sherwood. More history of Roxobel

ST. JOHNS
St. Johns is location of the 1st court house of Bertie. It's in present day Hertford Co between Ahoskie and Rich Square near the Northampton line.

SANS SOUCI
Sans Souci is from the French for "without care or worry" and was the name of a Plantation located nearby.

Sans Souci is located in the southeast section of Bertie, about 4 miles south of NC 308 intersection of Sans Souci/Woodard Road S.R. 1500). The village is on the south side of the Cashie River.

The Sans Souci Cable Ferry for cars (not recreational vehicles) operates daily.

SPRING HILL
Small African-American community located 7 miles from the town of Lewiston, off the Indianwoods Road at Spring Hill Road. Spring Hill Baptist Church is an active part of the community, and there is a Spring Hill Cemetery.

SNAKEBITE
Snakebite is located in the west central area at a crossroad. Legend says it was called SNAKEBITE because one of a group of men waiting for the muster of the militia, having nothing better to do, bit off a snake's head. The muster of what militia, or when, is not made explicit in the legend. The name SNAKEBITE is mentioned in deeds dated around 1840. Click for more information about homes, schools, churches.

TEASTER SHACK was the name of a community where Joe Teaster ran a country store. It was located about three miles northeast of Roxobel on State Road 1249 crosses at SR 1207.. SR 1249 starts out as Alva Smith Street at intersection. Originally Teaster Shack was known as the Cooke Plantation.
It was at one time a part of the Tyler School District that later became the Roxobel Kelford School District. The Teaster, Lassiter, Prichard Jilcott, Cole, Bishop, Vick, Tyler, etc families lived nearby and shopped at the store during the 1920-30-40-50"s. Joe Teaster married a Peele cousin of mine and is buried in the Peele Cemetery near 72 Siding one mine east of Kelford.   Pete Austin pete.austin@worldnet.att.net

TRAP
Named because a local tavern about 1860 'trapped' men of the community, according to their wives. Located near Mars Hill Church and west of Colerain.

TURNER'S CROSS ROADS
Turner's Cross Roads is the same as "Lewiston" . Lewiston is named for a Mr. Lewis who married a Crichlow woman (they are both buried at the Griffin family cemetery) The Crossroads was to the right just above St. Frances Methodist Church, exactly where 308 road goes through Lewiston now.

WHITE'S CROSSROADS
White's Crossroads is the intersection of 17 (also 1001) and 1344 (on modern day map) northeast of Askewville.

WIMBERLY
Wimberly, which was located at Blackman's Landing on Joseph Wimberly's plantation on the Chowan River, was established by legislation in 1752. When this town failed to survive, Windsor was established on the Cashie River in 1767.

WINDSOR

Windsor, the county seat, is the largest town in the county, and was established at the site of Gray's Landing on the south side of the Cashie River. Lot owners were required to constuct a house at least 16 feet square within three years of their purchase of land. When by 1774 many were not able to meet this requirement, the assembly extended the dealine for another two years.

Windsor thrived. By 1773 it contained several "Houses of Entertainment" or taverns, "sundry Stores" and a "good Ferry" to transport persons across the river. By 1775 it was designated as the county seat. Windsor was still a small town even by the 1830 census, which showed 160 blacks and 128 whites.

William D. Valentine (Diary, 1837) described it as "the most enlightened spot in Bertie", but after living there a year his opinion had changed to, "Making money, horse racing, common swearing and gambling seem to centre about this village".

WOLFENDEN It was once thought that the area for the original Courthouse was called Wolfenden. Mr. Thompson in his manuscript "The Lost Town of Cashie" indicates that John Wolfenden only acquired this land AFTER the town no longer existed, and about 18 years after Windsor was founded. As he explains, the town was probably referred to as been on "the present Wolfenden land" as a way to identify the location.

WOODARD
The Woodard community is about 7 miles east from the US 13/17 intersection in the southeastern part of county. The road is called Woodard/Sans Souci Road and is S.R. 1500. It can also be reached from the Sans Souci community if taking the scenic route from the east. More about Woodard

WOODVILLE

Woodville was incorporated in 1911, and was named after the home of Whitmell Hill Pugh, built in 1801. Woodville changed from a plantation to a town (less than a mile s. of Lewiston) officially in 1912, with its own post office. Then in 1981, Lewiston-Woodville became one town.Historical Woodville

Map of Woodville based on Charles Smallwood's diary

Resources: Bertie County: a brief history by Alan Watson
North Carolina Gazetteer by William S. Powell


Woodard

Woodard: Ever wonder how the community of Woodard received its name? Well, it all dates back to 1893.

The "Gill Farm," located eight miles from Windsor in the Cashie Neck area, was the home of Benjamin A. Moore and family. The Moores and other area families received their mail from a post office across the Cashie River at Sans Souci. Inclement weather often delayed the mail. When the river was frozen, a man walked across it to deliver the mail.

Benjamin Moore saw the need for a post office in the Cashie Neck area and investigated the mater. First of all there had to be a name for the proposed office. More and A. J. Smithwick, Moore's father-in-law, decided on Woodard, named for a Congressman Woodard who represented the area.

On September 30, 1893, Moore was appointed postmaster at Woodard. The original document of appointment is in the possession of Mrs. Tom Dunstan of Windsor, daughter of Benjamin Moore and it reads:

"Whereas, on the 16th day of September, 1893, Benjamin A. Moore was appointed postmaster at Woodard, in the County of Bertie, state of North Carolina and whereas he did on the 30th day of September 1893 execute a Bond and has taken the oath of office as required by law:

"Now know ye, that confiding in the integrity, ability and punctaulity of the said Benjamin A. Moore, I do commission him a Postmaster, authorized to execute the duties of that office at Woodard aforesaid, according to the laws of the United States and the Regulations of the Post Office Department to hold the said office of Postmaster, with all the powers, privileges and emoluments to the same belonging during the pleasure of the Postmaster General of the United States, Wilson S. Bissell."

Mrs. Dunstan remembers that she and her brother would recite poems and ride in the buggies when people came to get their mail.

In 1902 the Moores moved to Windsor and Mr. Tadlock became the new postmaster. Woodard Named By First Postmaster
Typed by Faye Wallace


This article appeared in the Golden Anniversary Edition of the Bertie Ledger
1887 - 1937. Volume L September 1937.


                PUPILS DESCRIBE HISTORIC PLACES NEAR MERRY HILL.
                    Merry Hill High School is center of local History ;
Pupils write sketches.

    A group of Pupils of Merry Hill High School recently wrote sketches of
some historic spots near the village. We publish a few of them.
    SANS SOUCI is a section located on the Cashie River and was named by
Thomas Vail, of Plymouth, who once kept a store in that place. Later Kenneth
Sallenger, also of Plymouth, kept store at Sans Souci. His wife, Mrs. Bettie
Hyman Sallenger, had one of the most beautiful flower gardens there.

    MERRY HILL , a small village, was formerly called Pine Tree Store, and
was named for a tree which stood on Ernest White's garden lot, just in front
of Jud Mitchell's shop. Later the name was changed to Merry Hill. It began
at the old Webb home, on Tom White's farm, now known as the Henry Foxwell
place. The Webb family had many gay parties, picnics and good times at their
country home and there the name , Merry Hill, originated.

    The SHIP YARD LANDING is on Cashoke Creek and was once  a very important
place for people of the Cashoke section. At this point, boats came from
England, West Indies, and other places directly to this part. Edward Gill,
from England,once came to the ship yard and married a young girl on Cashoke
farm. From this union,many Cashoke families descended.

    SANS SOUCI ROAD begins at SANS SOUCI and extends to W.R. Smith's store
and joins Merry Hill road which terminates in Merry Hill. Another fork
branches at W.R. Smith's store known as Cashoke Road and leads to Cashoke
Creek. At the Gray Phelps farm, the Cashoke road branches and leads in a
straight line to the Butterton Farm. This road is known as Sutton Road,
which goes by the "ALBEMARLE" , home of E.S. Askew, and "Scotch Hall", home
of George Capehart, on to the Sutton Beach Fishery.

    The COOPER ROAD is a branch of the SANS SOUCI road and starts at the ST.
Luke colored church, running towards Windsor.

    The LOWER WINDSOR ROAD is one where the SANS SOUCI road branches  at the
Bob Sheilds homeplace and runs towards the Lawrences section.

    The largest swamp in and around Sans Souci is called DEEP BOTTOM SWAMP.
This is near Mrs. Maggie Barnacastle's farm on the old Brimage home place,
"West Brook". Just beyond the Brimage plantation and Burman woods and near
the Freeman farm is the SPRING BRANCH. Next comes Lawrence"s Mill which runs
near John Swithwick's place. The place was given directly to the Smithwicks
by the Lord Proprietors. A swamp runs out from the Albemarle sound near the
old Brigg Phelps place and is called Black Walnut Swamp. The SALMON CREEK
starts at Avoca and runs down beyond the highway, near Mill Landing.
    The largest forest in this section of the county is called
"BUCKLEBERRY". It is named for Buckleberry, near London. This forest was
once owned by Culler Tucker who had a large plantation in the midst of it..
The Clump of woods near Winston farm is called Edgecombe.
    Among the outstanding plantations of now and of long ago are, the Thomas
Allen Smithwick home, on Cashoke Creek, formerly the Mare  place and the
home of Richardson Pierce. Near this farm is the Winston farm and Terrapin
Point fishery owned and operated by P.H. Winston, father of Judge Francis D.
Winston. Near this is the old Fannie Pugh place, now owned by Mike Smithwick
and Sutton Phelps . Tis said that much of Blackbeard's treasures have been
and are buried on the creek and river farms nearby. Down on the Albemarle
sound, near Terrapin Point, stands the house of Joseph Nicholls, and further
up the road we find the old Sammie Shaw place. There also is the John Harris
home. Next comes the Harris tract, home of Gray Phelps, "The Gray Warely "
home and cemetery are in the rear of W.R. Smith's residence.
    Down in the Brimage section we find where the Outlaws and the Millers
lived and died. Brimage graveyard is quite a curiosity. Near Lawrence's
Church, we find the houses of W.H. Smithwick, R.J. Shields, and George
Mitchell, Sr. and Jr. At the White Oak Church is the old home of Thomas
Nicholls, brother of Joe Nichols Sr. This is known as the Asa Phelps farm.
The Lawrence place once the home of  a well known family, is on the Sans
Souci  road and is owned by a darkey named Dave Outlaw. The Smith place is
now owned by B. Williford.
    Hershey Outlaw now lives at Richard Freeman's old house. On the same
road are the farms of Slaughters, Boswells, and others whose names are no
more. Elmwood, formerly owned by William Sutton, is now owned by E.S. Askew,
    There are two white Baptist churches in and around Merry Hill. One is
the Lawrence's named for it's first minister. The White Oak Methodists
Church and Holy Innocents Episcopal Church are tow quite old Churches.



                    ELMWOOD    One of the Governors of North Carolina lived
here. Back of the Elmwood house is a creek, long years ago a ferry was run
across this creek by the person that lived in the house.

                    BOLGRAY     Bolgray of Bertie, on the west shore of
Chowan River, was named in rememberance of the root-tree in Renfrewshire,
Scotland. Many notable persons have been entertained here. Governor Eden
loved to spend days atBolgray, and many friends were hospitably entertained
and encouraged to partake of the cheer and comfort of Colonel Pollock's
spacious domain.




Submitted to the Bertie County Rootsweb Project by David Hoggard

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