industrial district

This building on Poindexter Street, shown Friday, is included in the Elizabeth City Industrial Historic District that this week was named to the National Register of Historic Places.

Two sites in the Albemarle area have been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources announced last week that the Elizabeth City Industrial Historic District, and the Wilson Walker House and the Walker-Snowden Store in Currituck, have been added to the national list of historic places.

The Elizabeth City Industrial Historic District was once key to the region’s economic prosperity, according to a Department of Natural and Cultural Resources news release.

The district is located north of the commercial base of downtown and is bordered to the south by Elizabeth Street and to the east by the bank of the Pasquotank River. The district is historically significant, as it holds the remaining cluster of the city’s early- to mid-20th century industrial buildings.

Industrial development in Elizabeth City was sparked by the completion of the Dismal Swamp Canal in 1805. That development peaked after the completion of the Elizabeth City and Norfolk Railroad in 1881. Those railroads are now operated by the Chesapeake and Albemarle Railroad.

The district’s period of historical significance dates from around 1896 with the construction of the oldest building within the Elizabeth City Iron Works and Supply Company Inc. up to around 1965.

The Wilson Walker House, which was built around 1876, and the 1895 Walker-Snowden Store, in Currituck, is located on land on the south side of Courthouse Road across from the historic Currituck County Courthouse. The store is a one-story building with a false front parapet hiding a front gable roof. To the far south of the parcel is a small family cemetery. The property occupies a little more than 4 acres. The Wilson Walker House and Walker-Snowden Store are significant for their architecture.

“Congratulations to the communities where properties and districts were added to the National Register of Historic Places,” said Reid Wilson, the Secretary of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. “Preservation of these places helps maintain community character, strengthen connections to our diverse shared history, and contribute to local economic development.”

Two other eastern North Carolina locations added to the register are the Samuel Warren Branch House, located near Enfield in Halifax County, and the Kinston Commercial Historic District in Kinston.

The Branch House was built around 1828 and is significant for its architecture. It remains an intact example of the antebellum Federal-style tripartite house common at the time. Attached to the house is the earlier dated Georgian-style William Branch Jr. House, which was built around 1790.

The Kinston Commercial Historic District in Kinston, Lenoir County, is significant for its architecture, commerce and industrial contributions. The district holds the greatest concentration of relatively intact late 19th though mid-20th century commercial and institutional buildings in the city.

According to the N.C. DCNR, several locations in central and western North Carolina also were added to the national register.

They include:

• The J.J. Jones High School in Surry County

• The Mount Airy Historic District in Mount Airy

• The Henry Fletcher and Carrie Allison Long House in Statesville

• The Edgar S. and Madge Temple House in Salisbury

• The Julius Clegg Hall House and Grounds in Albemarle

• The Frank Rickert Summers House in Kings Mountain

• The Pigeon Street School in Waynesville

• The Cotton Patch in Tryon.

The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of buildings, structures, objects, sites and districts worthy of preservation for their significance in American history, architecture, archaeology and culture. The register was created under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 to ensure that as a matter of public policy, properties significant in national, state and local history are considered in the planning of federal undertakings, and to encourage historic preservation initiatives by state and local governments and the private sector.