Warrenton, North Carolina
|Warrenton, North Carolina|
|• Total||0.9 sq mi (2.3 km2)|
|• Land||0.9 sq mi (2.3 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||390 ft (119 m)|
|• Density||957.7/sq mi (374.7/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0996808|
Warrenton is a town in and the county seat of Warren County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 862 at the 2010 census. Warrenton, located on U.S. 401 and U.S. 158, was founded in 1779. One of the wealthiest towns in the state from 1840 to 1860, it has a rich stock of historic architecture: more than 90 percent of its buildings are listed in the National Register of Historic Places and its National Historic District encompasses nearly half its area.
History and attractions
Warrenton was founded at the time when Bute County was divided to form Warren and Franklin counties. Named for Dr. Joseph Warren, a Patriot and soldier who fell at Bunker Hill in Boston during the American Revolutionary War, it was incorporated in 1779. William Christmas platted and surveyed the streets and lots, and public squares that year. He established one hundred lots, each containing one-half acre; convenient streets and squares, and a common area for the use of the town.
The area was developed as tobacco and cotton plantations. Warrenton served as a center for trade and entertainment for the region's planters and their slaves. The planters and merchants built large homes in the town, and had slaves serving as domestic servants. Other slaves worked on the plantations and would bring the tobacco and cotton to town for shipping out to markets. Many early and mid-19th century houses have been preserved. The planters chartered prestigious academies to educate their children, one of the earliest being The Warrenton Male Academy, formed in 1788. A girls' school was founded by Jacob Mordecai, a Sephardic Jew, whose son Moses became a prominent lawyer in Raleigh. Commercial and government structures in the town date to the late 19th century and early 1900s.
In the 1850s, the town became a busy center of commerce when the railroad was built to better connect the commodities of the rich tobacco and cotton fields to markets; it became the wealthiest town in North Carolina of the time. The well-known builder Jacob Holt lived here; he built Greek-revival style houses throughout the region and his workshop supplied millwork to builders even farther afield.
As one of the wealthiest towns in North Carolina from 1840 to 1860, Warrenton had property owners who built fine residences and commercial buildings, forming the core of its current historic architecture. They employed the prominent architects Jacob Holt and Albert Gamaliel Jones, who designed and built houses in the Federal, Greek Revival and Italianate styles.
A National Historic District was defined that encompassed nearly half the town and over 50 structures; it was recognized in 1976.
- Josiah Bailey, former U.S. Senator
- Braxton Bragg, United States Army Officer
- Saxby Chambliss, U.S. Senator
- Rick Hendrick, NASCAR team owner
- Chandler Owen, writer and editor
- Chuck Rowland, baseball player