Wilson and The Railroad
The Atlantic Coastline Railroad that can be seen on the 1908 map was originally the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad. Building of the railroad began in 1836 with plans to connect Wilmington to Weldon on the Roanoke River, linking Eastern North Carolina to markets in Virginia and beyond. In 1839, the railroad completed tracks through was is now Wilson County, establishing a stop at Toisnot Depot--the beginning of today's city of Wilson.
Image: Wiggins Mill Bridge, circa 1880. Courtesy of Wilson County Public Library
By 1900, the Atlantic Coast Line had absorbed the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad and other small southeastern railroads to operate tracks extending from Richmond, Virginia, to Jacksonville, Florida. The railroad contributed to Wilson's tobacco boom and thus to the growth and prosperity of its black community.
Image: Fishing on Contentnea Creek, Wilson, NC (circa 1880). Courtesy of Wilson County Public Library