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”.
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.