A History of Murfreesboro, North Carolina

Incorporated in 1787, historic Murfreesboro offers a wide variety of early American architecture through its twelve-block National Register Historic District. It is located in Hertford County, North Carolina.

Historically significant buildings are open for touring in the Historic District on a daily basis. From the Roberts-Vaughan Village Center (116 East Main Street) embark on a guided tour which includes the interiors of: John Wheeler House (1810), William Rea Museum (1790), Winborne and Winborne Building (1870), and the Murfree-Smith Law Office (1800).

Old deeds indicate that settlers lived on the site of Murfreesboro as early as 1710. William Murfree, an Irish immigrant, established a King's Landing where exports and imports were inspected by a representative of the English Crown. The site was known as Murfree's Landing. In 1787, William Murfree donated ninety-seven acres of land for the incorporation of the town, which was named for him; Murfreesborough.

Murfreesboro was the port of call for 18th and early 19th century sailing vessels that brought New England, West Indian, and European goods in trade for the naval stores and agricultural products of eastern North Carolina.


As the northernmost point of navigation on the Meherrin River, Murfreesboro was the deepest a seagoing vessel out on the Albemarle Sound might penetrate into the large and productive farming area of southern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. Murfreesboro was designated by Congress in 1790 as an official port of entry, and the customs records indicate a profitable three-cornered trade with New England and the West Indies. The vessels and their cargoes were mostly owned by captains from New England, many of whom put down roots here and impressed their outlook on the new town in ways that have not entirely vanished to this day.
Murfreesborough was granted a US Post Office on July 1, 1795, and its first Postmaster was Mr. Murfree Knight. It has been in continuous operation ever since.


© 2007 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved