Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Small Town America

After spending two days inside the motorhome because of rain, wind and much cooler temperatures, we ventured out yesterday to see what we could find.  We had seen this sign in several places along the  highway, so we decided to check it out.


As I stated in an earlier post, there isn't a lot here.  A lot of businesses are boarded up and we've been told Halifax County is the poorest in North Carolina.  So, we couldn't imagine we would find much, but we were mistaken!

Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, is on one side of I-95 and Weldon, North Carolina, is on the opposite side, approximately three miles from the campground.  Little did we know the interesting things we would find right under our nose.  

We had driven through a portion of Weldon prior to yesterday.  What we saw was not very inviting, so we couldn't imagine there being shoppes/outlets "along the river," but we figured we must have missed something.  So back we went.

Weldon is known in this area as the Rockfish Capital of the WORLD.

What's a rockfish we asked??  We had never heard of such.  WELL, a rockfish is actually a striped bass.  Every Spring thousands of fishermen flock to the Roanoke River to catch their share of striped bass.  

The City of Weldon was founded by William Weldon, who had been given the land by his father, Daniel Weldon, in the 1700s.   In 1843, the town was incorporated and recognized by the state.  During the Civil War, Weldon was home to a soldier hospital.  In 2009, Weldon was officially recognized by the North Carolina General Assembly as the Rockfish Capital of the World.

We followed the signs and ended up at an old cotton mill that is now home to the shoppes/outlets mentioned on the signs.

The Weldon Cotton Manufacturing Company was a major component of the industrial development of the Roanoke Navigational Canal in the early 1900s.  It was the only textile plant on the canal and produced yarns and underwear.

What a pleasant surprise we found when we walked through the door.  The area to the right was full of wonderful antiques.

Can you say books?
This is definitely our kind of place -- we love browsing
I especially liked this lamp made from an old wood stove
75-piece banquet set

Can you guess what this is?

No, it's not a play house.  It's an early 1900s bird cage.  The top can be removed for cleaning.  The front door opens for removing and placing the birds.  Price tag -- $1250.  I bet you won't find another one anywhere -- esp in such pristine condition.

It says it still works!
Oh My Word, it's neverending
A Victorian settee and 4 matching chairs
Made exclusively from Teakwood -- price tag $3700

On the opposite side of the building were various crafts.
These are folding kitchen islands
These are new, name brand clothes, mainly from QVC.
And then there's the basement bargains
It's neverending

I took so many pictures, my battery died.  You're probably thinking "Thank goodness."  LOL

I'm going to stop for now, but there's more.  We went back to Weldon again today.  The population of Weldon, North Carolina, is less than 3000 and the unemployment rate is 12%, so what else could there be to see?  Well, there is a little more history I want to share, so stay tuned.  One thing I learned is just like with a book, you can't judge it by its cover.  Well, sometimes you can't judge a small American town by how it appears on the outside, but if you delve into it, you may be surprised what you find.

Until next time, God bless.


  1. You've got me sitting on the edge of my chair! I will be waiting for your next post. Keep the pictures coming.

    1. Your comment made me laugh -- looks like it will be another day or so before I post the 2nd chapter...I still have a couple of pics I need to take:o)

  2. Most of the great experiences we've had on the road have been in small town America. It really is amazing how many things you can find to see and do if you just take the time. This was a wonderful tour of the town and shops.

    1. AMEN!! Even have my daughter wanting to come and visit so she can take-in the shoppes. She only lives 40 mi down the road but had never heard of this place.

  3. I like the small towns and the unexpected treasures they contain. What a great time you must have had just looking at all these unique and interesting pieces.

    1. Going back tomorrow to take a couple of more pics for my blog -- amazing what you can find!!

  4. If you hang around a place long enough you can usually find some interesting things, even if your initial impression is not good. By the way, did you buy anything??

    1. Didn't buy a thing -- may have to go back tho and buy something:o)

  5. Well now, Weldon! We may have to add that place to our itinerary for our muscle trip starting in 2015. Our home base is the poorest county in Arizona, so we won't have to worry about the poorest county in North Carolina. Can't say we'd enjoy browsing that big a place, but some of the stuff was definitely inviting.

    1. I cannot imagine planning a trip that far in advance. Be sure and stay at the RV Resort at Carolina Crossroads, just off I-95 and 8 miles to the NC/VA line.

  6. What a great post - lots of neat old treasures in that store for sure. Thanks for posting all the pics.

    1. Thanks Rick -- we really enjoyed finding the treasures of small town America.