Happy #300!

Published 5:02 pm Tuesday, August 16, 2022

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WINDSOR – In 1722, the area of land lying west of the confluence of the Chowan River and the Albemarle Sound was deemed as the Bertie Precinct.

Now, 300 years later, a celebration is being planned to pay tribute to Bertie County’s humble beginnings.

The county’s 300th anniversary will be celebrated during a daylong event (10 am – 6 pm) on Saturday, Nov. 5 along the Granville Street corridor in downtown Windsor.

Assistant Bertie County Manager David Scarborough updated the county commissioners at their meeting here on Monday about the plans for the event. Scarborough said a planning committee of county department heads and staff members is in place and met two weeks ago.

“The emphasis of the event will focus on Bertie County’s 300 years, past, present, and future,” Scarborough said. “There are a lot of details we still need to address in a short period of time.”

Scarborough added that each member of the committee has been assigned specific tasks.

“We will be bringing in more people as we move forward, including local historians, others that are knowledgeable about Bertie County, mayors and commissioners from the municipalities in the county, and others as we see the need,” Scarborough stated.

He added that the Granville Street location was selected based on accessibility, space, facilities, and parking.

Other possible locations for the celebration included Hope Plantation, the Roanoke Cashie River Center, the Bertie County Recreation Complex, and King Street in Windsor.

Commissioner Greg Atkins asked Scarborough if Windsor officials are involved with the planning committee?

“We didn’t include anyone else outside the [county] department heads yet because of the fact that this is a Bertie County event,” Scarborough replied. “We wanted at least to get the basics done first. We spoke with Allen [Castelloe, Windsor Town Administrator] last week about some of the logistics…streets closing and the capabilities that they have to contribute [to the event].”

“We will bring in all of the [county’s] municipalities to get their feedback and their input,” noted Bertie Manager Juan Vaughan II. “I thought it was important for us to lay the groundwork because we are responsible for executing this event and we are contributing the funds to pay for it.”

Vaughan, addressing a concern expressed by Commissioner Ron Wesson, said if the towns wished to contribute financially to staging the event, “we won’t turn that down.”

“We are one county; an event like this is meant to bring all the county together,” Wesson stressed. “We want to involve them in this. They may have some great ideas; they may have some money to put in. We want tremendous turnout for this.”

Wesson added he would like to see invitations for the celebration to be sent to local, regional, and state leaders, to include Governor Roy Cooper.

Formed from the part of Chowan Precinct of Albemarle County, Bertie was named for James Bertie, one of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina.

In 1729, parts of Bertie Precinct, Chowan Precinct, Currituck Precinct, and Pasquotank Precinct of Albemarle County were combined to form Tyrrell Precinct. With the abolition of Albemarle County in 1739, all of its constituent precincts became separate counties.

As the population of settlers increased, in 1741 parts of Bertie County were organized as Edgecombe County and Northampton County. Finally, in 1759 parts of Bertie, Chowan, and Northampton counties were combined to form Hertford County. Bertie’s boundaries have remained the same since that time.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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