Step back in time
The past beckons you to Perquimans. Founded in 1668, the county boasts four National Register Historic Districts. Take time to discover Perquimans' rich history, beautiful backroads and quaint communities.

Hertford National Register Historic District
The quintessential small town with antique shops, cafes, and friendly folks ready to greet you.

ChamberCome Home to Hertford and spend some time in one of the region's most picturesque and best-preserved towns with seventy-five percent of the buildings contributing to the historic district designation. Make your first stop the Perquimans County and Town of Hertford Visitor Center at 118 W. Market Street (Hours: Monday-Friday; 10-4; Saturday, 10-1; Closed Sundays)

While in Hertford, take some time to stroll the streets, grab some lunch, have a picnic on the river, enjoy the Perquimans County Courthouse Green, and savor all that this small town has to offer. A tour book of both the Downtown Historic Tour and the Rural Tour of Plantations is now available in the Perquimans County and Town of Hertford Visitor Center and includes maps for self-guided walking/driving tours along with recent color photographs of the historic properties by John V. Matthews. There is a small fee.

Hertford dates to a 1669 land grant and was originally known as Phelps Point. In 1758 the town of Hertford was chartered and named for North Carolina governor's political patron, the Earl of Hertford. The town's street names of Grubb, Hyde Park, and Covent Garden still reflect this colonial link to Britain.

1928 the latest bridge was installed and is referred to locally as the 'S' Bridge because of the curves when approaching and leaving the bridge. A view of the moon over the Perquimans River inspired songwriter Benny Davis to pen "Carolina Moon" for his future wife.

After the Civil War, former slaves joined the town's population. Located at the corner of King Street and Hyde Park is one of the few monuments in the country erected to the "Colored Union Soldiers".

Hertford's handsome Queen Anne and Colonial Revival style homes built during the late nineteenth century reflect the town's prosperity at that time.

During World War II, Hertford was bustling with activity from nearby Harvey Point Naval Air Station.

Recognizing the town's appeal, Hertford was named a North Carolina Main Street Community in 2000 and a North Carolina Heritage Tourism Pilot Community in 1998.

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Belvidere National Register Rural Historic District
Discover Historic Belvidere and its rich Quaker heritage and pristine agricultural setting

Perquimans' history is woven closely with the rich heritage of the Society of Friends, or Quakers. With deep Quaker roots dating to the 1670s, the Belvidere National Register Historic District is a centerpiece of the rich Quaker history. Take time to savor a drive through the pristine agricultural setting and by the Friends meetinghouses-Piney Woods and Upriver Friends.

A centerpiece for the community for over 100 years is the Josiah Nicholson Jr. Store, today known as Layden's Store. On your drive through the Belvidere Historic District, stop at Layden's for some hand-stuffed sausage, hoop cheese and a taste of a time gone by.

Belvidere's Piney Woods Friends Meeting is the successor to this first Friends Meeting, dating back to 1854, making it the oldest religious congregation in North Carolina. Belvidere remains predominantly Quaker today.

Thomas Newby, a prominent Quaker merchant, was instrumental in Belvidere's eighteenth century growth. Newby was one of the first North Carolinians to make public the issue of slave emancipation. The community was named for his plantation home, Belvidere, built in 1785. The impressive house stands today and was the home of the radio personality Robert W. "Wolfman Jack" Smith.

The Quakers' strong educational principals were realized with the establishment of Belvidere Academy in 1834. It remained an influential Quaker school in the region until it became a public school in 1914. A fire destroyed the building in 1935.

The beautiful Queen Anne style houses still standing in Belvidere reflect the prosperity of the community in the mid-nineteenth century. As the community prospered, construction boomed. The 1870 Elihu White House is a good illustration of these Belvidere houses.

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Old Neck National Register Rural Historic District
Meander through the Old Neck Rural Historic District dotted with plantation homes and a rural landscape reminiscent of the antebellum South

Dating to a 1663 land grant, the Old Neck Historic District is one of America's earliest English settlements. On your drive through the district, reflect on the open fields and historic architecture that recall an earlier time.

In 1672 George Fox, the founder of the Society of Friends or Quakers, traveled to this area and from his visit Perquimans County became the site of the beginning of organized religion in North Carolina.

The Old Neck District is primarily open farmland with five major plantation homes and seven smaller houses and farms. The five remaining antebellum homes in the district are:

  • Riverside, William Jones Plantation, circa 1815
  • Francis Nixon Plantation, circa 1815
  • Swampside, Fletcher-Skinner-Nixon House, built circa 1815
  • Cove Grove, Benjamin S. Skinner Plantation, built circa 1830
  • Elmwood, Thomas Nixon Plantation, built 1849

Old Neck's significance stems from the blending of the natural and historic rural landscape with the exceptional quality and range of the historic buildings within the agricultural environment. In Old Neck, the family ties established in the early nineteenth century extend to the present day with descendents of the original owners continuing to own the land.

Almost 350 years after first settlement, the Old Neck Historic District maintains its rich agricultural character and deep agrarian roots. Consider staying a spell in one of the antebellum homes, Fletcher-Skinner-Nixon House, built circa 1815, and today operated as the 1812-on-the-Perquimans Bed & Breakfast Inn.

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Winfall National Register Historic District
Explore the historic crossroads community of Winfall.

Winfall National Register Historic District

Folklore has it that the first building built in the town today known as Winfall fell over during a windstorm and that event changed the name of the community "Red House Fork" to Windfall, soon dropping the "D" and becoming Winfall. Winfall is found at a junction where roads from Hertford and Parkville meet the road from Woodville to Belvidere. A highlight of the historic community is Winfall Landing Park featuring a waterfront boardwalk and picnic and playground area.

Winfall was the busiest cross roads in Perquimans County before the bridge crossed the Perquimans River. Winfall was the commercial center for people on the north side of the river. Even before the Civil War, the community had developed as a commercial area. In 1873 a post office was established for Winfall with Josiah H. White as its postmaster.

A highlight of the Winfall Historic District is the Winfall Post Office, built in the 1890s and known as "Big Store. This former general store contains sawn work features and appears much as it originally did and provides a picturesque focal point to this crossroads community.

On March 7, 1887 Winfall was incorporated as a town. A.S. Jordan was appointed as the first Mayor and serving on the town Council were Josiah H. White, Watson Winslow, and R.H. Kirby. The original boundaries of Winfall were the perimeter of a circle of 1/4 mile radius having for its center the intersection of the Norfolk Southern Railroad and the county road. At the center of this town stood the train station.

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