Historic Weldon originally was called Weldon’s Orchard because of the orchard planted here by Daniel Weldon, who founded the town in 1745. Located just below the fall line, at an altitude of 77 feet, Weldon was the head of navigation on the Roanoke River until the canal was built in 1823, which opened up river traffic to Virginia and stimulated the economy.
The Roanoke Canal served as a passage away from the dangerous rocks and rapids of the Roanoke River and stimulated a large amount of trade to the area. The canal has been noted by the American Canal Society for its significance. An aqueduct built over Chockoyotte Creek as part of the Roanoke Navigation System stands today as a reminder of a major engineering feat in North Carolina. Visitors are invited to see the massive stone structure and hike on the Canal Trail.
Historic Weldon was a bustling center of activity during the Civil War due to its location on the river and railroad. Some nine different Confederate training camps wee established in the area. In 1840 the 161-mile long Wilmington to Weldon Railroad, longest in the world at that time, ended here and provided another boost to trade.
Historic Weldon is known as the “Rockfish Capital” because of its fine striped bass fishing in the spring on the Roanoke River.
Historic Weldon has antebellum homes that have been preserved in their original splendor; featuring late Georgian, Federal, Queen Anne, Victorian and Greek Revival style architecture on tree lined streets.