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Unveiling of Historic Marker

  • Front Street Clayton NC (map)

Join us Friday, June 28th at 10 a.m. at the Arbors at East Village Club House near the Front Street roundabout for the unveiling of a special historic marker - Hinton's Quarter - home to Johnston County's Courthouse from 1758-1771. Because of Friday's expected heat, we're moving the short program into the air-conditioning! Special thanks to the Visit Johnston County, NC, the Clayton Historical Association and the Johnston County Heritage Center for making this marker possible! Join us for the unveiling/presentation and reception inside the Arbors Clubhouse. Gregory Hill will portray Regulator John O'Neal, who encouraged citizens of Johnston County to take up arms against colonial officials, whom they viewed as corrupt - a movement that eventually led to the American Revolutionary War!

The Hinton's Quarter courthouse has so much history! Right now, Johnston County is listed as one of the fastest growing counties in the state and covers almost 800 square miles southeast of Raleigh. But did you know, Johnston County used to be THREE TIMES the size it is now and Clayton was right in the center of it?! It encompassed ALL of modern-day Wake, Wayne Greene, Lenoir…and even parts of Wilson county! In 1746, the Colonial assembly first carved Johnston County out of Craven County. Then in 1758, Dobbs County was carved out. A new courthouse, with a prison and stocks, was built on William Hinton’s plantation in the area of what is now the intersection of US 70 and NC42E. Roads were built to the courthouse and a ferry was even commissioned to carry people over the Neuse River. Nathaniel Cary got a license for a tavern near the courthouse in 1760. It was a hub of activity!

It was there at Hinton's Quarter Courthouse that a violent tax revolt took place in the summer of 1768, as backwoodsmen known as The Regulators attempted to take over the county court by force. The Regulators were a large group of North Carolina colonists who opposed the taxation and fee system imposed by colonial officials and they would lead many battles with colonial militia. In 1768, a mob armed with clubs repulsed the Regulators at the courthouse and reclaimed power for the local ruling elite. The courthouse also witnessed Governor William Tryon and his troops march through in 1771. He was one of the most notorious royal governors of North Carolina.

Information on the Hinton’s Quarter Courthouse was provided by the Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library’s History Room. The Johnston County Heritage Commission has chosen Clayton’s Hinton’s Quarter courthouse site to receive one of the county’s first five historical markers. The markers designate places or persons of local, state, or national significance. The markers are funded by a Capital Grant from the Johnston County Visitors Bureau, with matching funds for the Hinton’s Quarter marker provided by the Clayton Historical Association and the Johnston County Heritage Commission. It will be placed near the intersection of Front Street and NC Highway 42 East and will be unveiled in a special ceremony at 10 a.m. June 28th during our Sesquicentennial year. #Clayton150