The town of Everetts was
incorporated in February 1891, and was a thriving trading center
situated along the railroad between Robersonville and Williamston. It
began more than 20 years earlier as a small rural cross roads named for
its principal landowner, Simon Peter Everett. In 1869, he deeded some of
his land to the Williamston and Tarboro Railroad Company for the
construction of the railroad.
After October 1882, when the Seaboard and Raleigh Railroad, the
successor to the Williamston and Tarboro, finally completed the rail
line, the Everetts community began to develop as a market for
agricultural products such as cotton, corn, grapes, potatoes and
eventually peanuts. It grew into a trading center for much of Cross
Roads and Poplar Point townships for farm and household supplies. The
railroad, with its mail, passenger, and freight services and telegraph
line, was the lifeline of the community.
The second impetus for growth was the incorporation in May 1890 of the
Martin County Lumber Company by investors from Philadelphia, PA. In
addition to a steam-powered mill, the company erected an office,
commissary, two stores, and between 10 and 20 houses on a site north of
the railroad at the western edge of the community. Local tradition holds
that the mill supplied the lumber for the first boardwalk at Atlantic
In 1898, one of the investors who also served as plant superintendent,
George P. McNaughton, bought out the founders, and with Simon F.
Everett, John Fraley and Samuel B. Wynn, founded the Everetts Lumber
Company. The company operated until 1909 when it was forced to close
because the supply of nearby timber had been depleted.
Today, visitors can see the landmark J.T. Barnhill Building along US
Business 64/13, which still serves as a general store and has a painted
billboard on its outside wall. There is also the former Champion
Automobile Building, which anchors Everetts block-long commercial
section. The building was erected in 1919, and sold Champion, Star,
Essex, Durrsant, Hudson and Pan-American automobiles before going out of
business in 1930. And the post office, first established in 1884,
maintains operations today.
Information from Martin
Architectural Heritage: The Historic Structures of Rural North Carolina
County, edited by Thomas R. Butchko