Windsor, the county seat of Bertie County, is located in Northeastern North Carolina between the Roanoke and Chowan Rivers, headwaters of the Albemarle Sound. Windsor is served by major highways and is approximately 85 miles from Roanoke Island and the Outer Banks. Founded in 1768, the town is located on the banks of the Cashie River and is one of the most interesting small historically significant towns in the region.
A stroll along King Street will allow you to see and enjoy many homes and commercial buildings of significance due to their architectural structure. The Historic Windsor Walking Tour is an enjoyable step back through history with beautiful architecturally detailed homes. A study of the historical figures responsible for their construction and their impact on Bertie County history is also a part of the self-guided tour. A number of 18th and 19th century buildings remain in Windsor and the downtown district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Four miles northwest of Windsor is the crown jewel of Bertie County's historic legacy, Hope Plantation. Built in 1803 by Governor David Stone, the plantation receives thousands of visitors each year. Historic Hope Foundation, Inc. manages the plantation which includes the Hope Mansion, the King Bazemore House, the Samuel Cox House, and the Roanoke-Chowan Heritage Center, a state of the art visitor's center with exhibition, research, and banquet facilities.
The Bertie County Courthouse, built in 1887, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is included on the Walking Tour. Additions made in 1941 and 1974 enlarged the facility but maintained the style of the original construction. The Courthouse is the center of Bertie County government and houses a wealth of research materials for those searching for their roots here in Northeastern North Carolina.
The Freeman Hotel, built in 1840, embodies the distinctive characteristics of the small hotel once found in many eastern North Carolina towns at the turn of the century. The Hotel is also listed on the National Register and houses the Windsor Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor's Center.
The Cashie Wetlands Walk has an 1800 foot handicapped accessible walkway to the Cashie River and features a fishing pier at its end. The trees and shrubs in the Walk are labelled for identification. Various wild animals can be seen in their natural habitat, many of which are endangered species, such as the pileated woodpecker.
The Sans Souci Ferry just outside of town is a must-see for the history buff and nature lover alike. The two-car ferry travels across the Cashie River guided by a cable. This ferry is one of the few surviving examples of early river navigation before high rise bridges dotted the riverine landscape.
Once back in Windsor after the short trip to Sans Souci, the Cashie Park is available for fishermen and also has picnic facilities. The Windsor Campground is also located on the river and has a boat launch and comfortable camp sites.
The Cashie River has played a large part in the development of Windsor. The river was responsible for the early commercial development of the town and today provides recreational excitment as well as serving as a classroom to study wetlands, rivers and their wildlife along with their impact on this region. The Cashie River begins and ends within Bertie County and can reach depths of 80 feet!
Visitors are invited to come and explore the early history of Bertie County and enjoy the rivers, streams and hunting grounds as did the Indians and early settlers.