Sunday, May 22, 2016



            Saturday, October the 1st (1887), was a big day in Windsor. The people of old Bertie turned out in full force to witness the laying of the Corner-Stone of the new Court House, a building (judging from the drawn plan we saw displayed) of pleasing proportions and excellent architectural beauty.
            The large procession, formed at the Masonic hall and led by the Edenton (Chowan County) Cornet Band, marched through several of the principal streets and then to the Grand Stand in the Court yard, where the exercises appointed for the occasion were had. The Grand Marshal opened the ceremony, making a few appropriate and well-timed remarks, which were followed with prayer by the Worthy Chaplain; after which the stone was slowly lowered to its destined place in the structure while the band played a soft and beautiful air. The stone dropped in its bed at 12 M. The Masonic fraternity then went through with the form usual on such occasions, that of depositing a box containing tokens, etc., of the present. The following are some of the articles deposited:

The oration delivered on the occasion by F. D. Winston. A copy of the Windsor Public Ledger containing resolutions of respect in memory of W. P. Gurley, late W. M., of Charity Lodge No. 5, A. F. and A. M. A copy of the Act of Legislature authorizing the rebuilding of the Bertie Court House. A photograph of L. S. Webb Esq., the oldest citizen of the town of Windsor. A photograph of the former Court House. The names of the Presidents and Vice Presidents of the United States, the names of the officers of the State of North Carolina, the names of the officers of Bertie county, the names of the officers of the town of Windsor.

            Mr. Frank D. Winston, the orator of the day, was introduced and for some time held his audience wrapped in admiration of his eloquence as he spoke of the past, hailed the present and painted the future. The following facts from the address we noted with interest.

            The County of Bertie was established in 1722 by the General assembly in session at Queen Anne’s creek, near Edenton. It was carved out of Albemarle county and embraced all that part of Albemarle county lying on the west side of Chowan river, bounded to the Northward by the line dividing the government from Virginia and to the southward by the Albemarle sound and Morattuck (now Roanoke) river as far u as Welches’ creek and then including both sides of the said river and the branches thereof as far as the limit of the government.
            In 1741 a part of the upper boundary of Bertie was formed into the county of North Hampton. In 1754 the Northern end was made the county of Hertford, and all of that part on the west side of Roanoke river was added to the County of Edgecomb(e). 
            The County Seat of Bertie precinct in 1722 was established near St. Johns—now in Hertford county. In 1742 the seat of government for the county was located at Walfington, two miles north of Windsor on the Cashie river, at Wills’ Quarter Bridge. In 1774 Windsor was made the county seat—it having become an incorporated town in 1767. The old Court House was commenced in 1775 and work was suspended on it by reason of the R4evolutionary war. It was completed in 1788. The two wings were added in 1822. The contract for building the new Court House was let out in June 1887.

            After the speech of Mr. Winston concluded, dinner was announced. There were two tables, one at the hotel for the ladies and one on the grounds in the rear of hotel for gentlemen. The Masons were marched to their hall by the band. After dinner the Lewiston (Bertie County) Band and Edenton Band occupied the upper porch of the American hotel and entertained the crowd for the evening. The whole affair was conducted in a most admirable way reflecting untold credit upon its managers and betokening a noble public spirit on the part of the entire people.

From Courthouse

[Fisherman and Farmer (Edenton, NC) 7 Oct 1887]

No comments:

Post a Comment