"Preserving the Past for the Future"

Warrenton Walking Tour

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A Few Notes on Warren County

Just south of Warrenton, on what is believed to have been the first oval racetrack built in the state, the legendary racehorse Sir Archie was trained. The property of Colonel William Ransom Johnson, Sir Archie outran every four-miler in the country in 1809, and the South Carolina legislature even passed a law forbidding him to race in that state.

Health resorts, with their sulphur springs and fine hotels, beckoned visitors from throughout the land. Shocco Springs and Jones Springs were among the better known. It was at the latter that Annie Carter Lee, daughter of General Robert E. Lee, stayed with her family during the Civil War. A victim of typhoid fever in 1862, she died and was buried at the Jones family cemetery not far from the resort.

A few miles from Warrenton, Jethro Sumner, general in the Continental Army and first president of the North Carolina Society of the Cincinnati, had his famous tavern at or near the Bute County Courthouse.

On the outskirts of Warrenton stood Bridle Creek, home of two major generals in the Confederate Army, Robert Ransom and Matt W. Ransom.

Gone now are Esmeralda and Montmorenci, although a circular staircase from the latter now graces the DuPont Museum in Wilmington, Delaware.

Male and female academies thrived in Warrenton, and among the teachers was Bronson Alcott, father of the author of Little Women. Warren County native Orren Randolph Smith designed the original Stars and Bars at the onset of the Civil War.

Warren County has provided the state with four governors, six attorneys general, three supreme court justices, four superior court judges, and five magnates in the tobacco industry.

Benjamin Hawkins, agent in charge of all Indian affairs south of the Ohio River, lived here.

Twelve miles northeast of Warrenton is Buck Spring Plantation, once the home of Nathaniel Macon, U. S. senator and the only North Carolinian to serve as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. The corncrib and smokehouse have been restored. A replica of the dwelling has been built and installed at the site of the original house.

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Preservation Warrenton | Post Office Box 944 | Warrenton, North Carolina 27589