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History Introduction
Welcome to historic Washington County! We are glad you took the time to visit our new website, and hope you will find our fascinating history enticement enough to visit our area in person very soon. We have SO MUCH history, it is necessary to divide this section of the website into smaller “bytes”.

Washington County has a rich heritage beginning with the Native Americans who inhabited this fertile coastal peninsula for thousands of years before the appearance of the first European settlers. During the Colonial period, the Albemarle Sound southern shore experienced growth by immigration from the north, mostly spillover from Virginia and the northern side of the sound. It was during this period that Brick House Landing was established as an important riverport, and gained its current name of “Plymouth” from the large number of ships and sailors from Plymouth, Massachusetts who frequented the port. Prosperity abounded during the Antebellum period, with the establishment of large plantations and the growth of the naval stores trade. The Civil War brought both fame and destruction to the area, with Plymouth being a hotly contested strategic port for both the Union and the Confederacy. The 1864 Battle of Plymouth was the last major Confederate victory of the War, and the town was heavily damaged during the conflict. The Roanoke River and Albemarle Sound have, from the beginning, been the lifeline of this remote agricultural area, both from a transportation and subsistence standpoint, with fishing and maritime trades a mainstay of income and commerce for generations.

We hope you will dig deeper through the “layers” of our rich history, and learn more about this unique part of the world. Follow the “history” menu above to explore whatever areas interest you- we are sure you will find unexpected treasures and whet your appetite to learn more.