The History of Norlina, NC

Norlina Seal Old Train

It is only natural that Norlina would use the symbol of a locomotive on our town seal as the very existence of our community was the result of the Raleigh & Gaston and Seaboard & Roanoke Railroads.

In 1837, we were called Ridgeway Junction and the expanding railroad found it necessary to stop in this area for refueling and resupplying. Local citizens, eager to supplement their income from this boom-town industry, began selling wood and water to the railroad.

Soon this had expanded to other supplies and services, such as camp-like food, provisions and supplies for arriving and departing travelers. In the 1860's, we became known as the "Woodyard", in the 1870's, the railroads merged to form the Seaboard & Raleigh Railroad, and we had become an  area of commerce, trade and business. Norlina Junction Map

Now known throughout the South as the "Junction",  this area had grown from a small crossroads supplying roadside meals to a thriving community which included several smithing shops, two mercantile hardware stores and a horse drawn taxi service providing transportation to outlying areas.  

In 1900, The Seaboard Air Line Railway was established through a series of mergers and acquisitions. Under the leadership of John Williams, an regional entrepreneur, the Seaboard quickly grew from 1,110 miles to over 4,680 miles.Norlina Hotel

During this period, the "Junction" exploded with  growth, the Rail & Train Depot was established, and our historic  hotel & restaurant was built to supply the traveling public with a clean bed and bath, and their specialty meal....quail on toast.


      Hotel Above in 1930's and
          below as it is today.         
Norlina HotelNo one really knows how the name "Norlina" came about...whether it was the influence of the railroad to 'shorten' the name North Carolina to Norrr-lllina, or if was a decision of some of our first citizens. In any event, in 1913, a group of local citizens stepped off one mile square (with the railroad depot exactly in the center), sent a petition to the North Carolina General Assembly for charter, and we became known as...

Norlina - where North Carolina begins.

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Links of Interest   -   Norlina Junction Park   -  Norlina Book   -   Founding of Norlina