Halifax County's rich history sets it apart. Several Indian tribes settled the area before the immigrants arrived in Halifax County. This history is celebrated each year at the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe Pow Wow Festival in Hollister, North Carolina.
Between 1776 and 1782, nearly every session of the NC General Assembly was held in the town of Halifax. Halifax has given North Carolina more Governors, members of Congress, attorneys general and brigadier generals than any other county in North Carolina. Much of Halifax County its geography and its history was defined by the Roanoke River, which today forms its northern boundary. The Roanoke River is considered by many to have the best fishing in the country.
The Historic Halifax Visitor's Center offers an audiovisual presentation, exhibits, guided tours and displays depicting the history of the town. Several historic structures are open on the site including the Sally Billy House, the Burgess House, the Halifax County Jail and the Owens House. The Montfort's house, with exhibits and walkways over foundations exposed by the scholar's spade and trowel, portrays the lifestyle of this wealthy resident of early Halifax. A spacious picnic area is nearby.
Then there is Lake Gaston, one of the truly outstanding lakes in the country. It is over 20,000 acres of "high quality" water, 34 miles long, and approximately one and one half miles wide at the lower end of the lake. It has over 350 miles of shoreline.
Lake Gaston begins at Kerr Dam, a lake built in 1953 for flood control. Below Lake Gaston is Roanoke Rapids Lake, a smaller lake built in 1955 for hydroelectric power. Normal height of the water is 200 feet above sea level and by regulation the water depth may vary only one foot plus or minus, from the normal level except in case of emergency. And with virtually no pollution, the water is almost drinkable without treatment. Lake Gaston is well stocked with game fish which include striped bass or rock fish, large mouth bass, crappie, sunfish and several varieties of catfish. Other species of fish sometimes caught are walleye, yellow perch and chain pickerel. A valid license for either Virginia or North Carolina permits fishing from a boat in either state.