Even before what is now Martin County was first visited by English explorers, it was inhabited by Native Americans who were adept at satisfying their needs from the richly supplied forests and streams. In 1774, Martin County was formed from Tyrrell and Halifax Counties in the midst of one of the most turbulent periods of American history. It was less than three years after the Battle of Alamance near Hillsborough, between the “Regulators” and North Carolina militia called up by Royalist Governor Tryon – generally considered one of the first skirmishes of the American Revolution -and only a few months before the first meeting of the North Carolina Provincial Congress independent of royal authority in August, 1774.
Attempts to establish a new county for the territory which eventually became Martin had been launched more than four years previously. Residents of the area had been experiencing some difficulty and considerable expense in attending to their affairs at the seats of government for the two counties in which they were then living.
William Slade, a representative from the section in the Colonial House of Commons, made several efforts to have the new county created from upper Tyrrell and lower Halifax and co-sponsored a number of bills to that effect during 1769, 1770 and 1771. He succeeded in getting the bills passed by the lower chamber several times, but they evidently failed to secure approval of the governor or council, as none of them ever became law while he was in the General Assembly.
Senator Bob Martin Center
Horse shows, concerts and meeting spaces — This state of the art, multi-facet facility can be used by all. The coliseum is more than 110,000 square feet, which is heated and ventilated. This includes approximately 10,000 square feet of vending concourse. It also boasts a 150’ x 300′ arena with permanent seating for 2,286. In addition, there is a fully enclosed 75’ x 125’ paddock with an attached 120’ x 240’ covered arena, three outdoor 120’ x 240’ practice rings, five lunging rings and two dressage pads.
The Roanoke River flows southeast in a zigzag course bordering Martin County through the Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge and then briefly turns north as it enters Batchelor Bay on the western end Albemarle Sound.
In 1657, it was known as “Morattico River”; in 1671 it was documented as “Noratake River.” Edward Moseley wrote the name “Roanoke River” on a map he created in 1733. It was home to many Native Americans and has subsequently played a significant role in American History.
The largest intact and least-disturbed bottomland hardwood forest ecosystem remaining in the mid-Atlantic Region is in the Roanoke River’s floodplain. Alluvial forests, tracts of bald cypress and water tupelo swamp forest hug the banks of the river.
The Roanoke River is home to a wide assortment of plants and wildlife, including more than 250 bird species.