Merry Hill Community


When Bertie County was subdivided into townships in 1868, the township in its southeastern area was named MERRY HILL.
Merry Hill Township No. 2 Commencing at the mouth of Salmon Creek, on on the Choan river, and running up said Creek, by Mill-landing, to Chapel-bridge, on the Merry Hill road; thence running the Merry Hill road N.W., to the Mill-landing loc'd; thence running said road in a S.W. direction to the Windsor road; thence running said road in the direction of Windsor, to the the Bear-swamp Mill road, at Starky Mizell's; thence running the Windsor Township-line to the Roanoke river; thence down said river - the middle of the channel - to Albemarle Sound; thence runnning the shore about West, to the mouth of Eastermost river; thence a straight line about north, to the lower end of the Terrapin Point Fishery; thence running the shore of the Albemarle Sound to the mouth of the Chowan river; thence up the Choan river, to Salmon Creek - the point at which we set out.

This article appeared in the Golden Anniversary Edition of the Bertie Ledger 1887 - 1937. Volume L September 1937.


Merry Hill High School is center of local History ; Pupils write sketches.
A group of Pupils of Merry Hill High School recently wrote sketches of some historic spots near the village. We publish a few of them.

SANS SOUCI is a section located on the Cashie River and was named by Thomas Vail, of Plymouth, who once kept a store in that place. Later Kenneth Sallenger, also of Plymouth, kept store at Sans Souci. His wife, Mrs. Bettie Hyman Sallenger, had one of the most beautiful flower gardens there.

MERRY HILL , a small village, was formerly called Pine Tree Store, and was named for a tree which stood on Ernest White's garden lot, just in front of Jud Mitchell's shop. Later the name was changed to Merry Hill. It began at the old Webb home, on Tom White's farm, now known as the Henry Foxwell place. The Webb family had many gay parties, picnics and good times at their country home and there the name , Merry Hill, originated.

The SHIP YARD LANDING is on Cashoke Creek and was once a very important place for people of the Cashoke section. At this point, boats came from England, West Indies, and other places directly to this part. Edward Gill, from England,once came to the ship yard and married a young girl on Cashoke farm. From this union,many Cashoke families descended.

SANS SOUCI ROAD begins at SANS SOUCI and extends to W.R. Smith's store and joins Merry Hill road which terminates in Merry Hill. Another fork branches at W.R. Smith's store known as Cashoke Road and leads to Cashoke Creek. At the Gray Phelps farm, the Cashoke road branches and leads in a straight line to the Butterton Farm. This road is known as Sutton Road, which goes by the "ALBEMARLE" , home of E.S. Askew, and "Scotch Hall", home of George Capehart, on to the Sutton Beach Fishery.

The COOPER ROAD is a branch of the SANS SOUCI road and starts at the ST. Luke colored church, running towards Windsor.

The LOWER WINDSOR ROAD is one where the SANS SOUCI road branches at the Bob Sheilds homeplace and runs towards the Lawrences section.

The largest swamp in and around Sans Souci is called DEEP BOTTOM SWAMP. This is near Mrs. Maggie Barnacastle's farm on the old Brimage home place, "West Brook". Just beyond the Brimage plantation and Burman woods and near the Freeman farm is the SPRING BRANCH. Next comes Lawrence"s Mill which runs near John Swithwick's place. The place was given directly to the Smithwicks by the Lord Proprietors. A swamp runs out from the Albemarle sound near the old Brigg Phelps place and is called Black Walnut Swamp.

The SALMON CREEK starts at Avoca and runs down beyond the highway, near Mill Landing.

The largest forest in this section of the county is called "BUCKLEBERRY". It is named for Buckleberry, near London. This forest was once owned by Culler Tucker who had a large plantation in the midst of it.. The Clump of woods near Winston farm is called Edgecombe.

Among the outstanding plantations of now and of long ago are, the Thomas Allen Smithwick home, on Cashoke Creek, formerly the Mare place and the home of Richardson Pierce. Near this farm is the Winston farm and Terrapin Point fishery owned and operated by P.H. Winston, father of Judge Francis D. Winston.

Near this is the old Fannie Pugh place, now owned by Mike Smithwick and Sutton Phelps . Tis said that much of Blackbeard's treasures have been and are buried on the creek and river farms nearby. Down on the Albemarle sound, near Terrapin Point, stands the house of Joseph Nicholls, and further up the road we find the old Sammie Shaw place. There also is the John Harris home. Next comes the Harris tract, home of Gray Phelps, "The Gray Warely " home and cemetery are in the rear of W.R. Smith's residence.

Down in the Brimage section we find where the Outlaws and the Millers lived and died. Brimage graveyard is quite a curiosity. Near Lawrence's Church, we find the houses of W.H. Smithwick, R.J. Shields, and George Mitchell, Sr. and Jr. At the White Oak Church is the old home of Thomas Nicholls, brother of Joe Nichols Sr. This is known as the Asa Phelps farm. The Lawrence place once the home of a well known family, is on the Sans Souci road and is owned by a darkey named Dave Outlaw. The Smith place is now owned by B. Williford.

Hershey Outlaw now lives at Richard Freeman's old house. On the same road are the farms of Slaughters, Boswells, and others whose names are no more. Elmwood, formerly owned by William Sutton, is now owned by E.S. Askew,

There are two white Baptist churches in and around Merry Hill. One is the Lawrence's named for it's first minister. The White Oak Methodists Church and Holy Innocents Episcopal Church are tow quite old Churches.

ELMWOOD One of the Governors of North Carolina lived here. Back of the Elmwood house is a creek, long years ago a ferry was run across this creek by the person that lived in the house.

BOLGRAY Bolgray of Bertie, on the west shore of Chowan River, was named in rememberance of the root-tree in Renfrewshire, Scotland. Many notable persons have been entertained here. Governor Eden loved to spend days at Bolgray, and many friends were hospitably entertained and encouraged to partake of the cheer and comfort of Colonel Pollock's spacious domain.

Submitted to the Bertie County Rootsweb Project by David Hoggard

Virginia Crilley
Return to the Bertie County Main Page