Grifton offers a plethora of parks, historic attractions and nature spots for recreation. We really do have a ton to offer for family fun for a small town. We invite you to learn more about the places on this section and to visit any of the nearly dozen attractions we have to offer.
The Catechna Indian Village was constructed as a result of the North Carolina Rural Center’s NC STEP grant. It showcases Grifton’s rich Native American history, through the construction of a longhouse similar to that of the Tuscarora Tribe, which is said to have occupied the area before white settlers moved in. The Catechna Village is located across from the Grifton Museum and adjacent to Overlook Creekside Park and the NC Wildlife boat ramp.
NATIVE AMERICAN HISTORY
The Tuscarora Indians once occupied a major village, Catechna, which was in or near Grifton. The exact site remains a mystery although arrowheads and prehistoric spear points are found often by Grifton area fishermen, hunters, and professional and amateur archeologists. Some of these are on display in the Indian Heritage Room of the Grifton Historical Museum at the Civic Center.
The Tuscarora Indians were traders with coastal tribes to the East and inland tribes to the West. They lived in longhouses of bark over a bent pole framework, with several families living in each longhouse. The people slept on built in platforms with storage space above and below the platforms, and each family had its own fire built down the center of the longhouse dirt floor. Holes cut in the roof let out the smoke.
The villages were surrounded by a palisade built of poles set upright in the ground. They were located on high ground near streams, and fields were cultivated outside the palisade walls.
Fish were speared and caught in nets; deer and small game were plentiful in the forests. Tobacco was important in ceremonies, as it was believed that the smoke carried messages with it up to the spirits in Skyland.
In the early 1700s, disagreements between the Indians and white settlers in Eastern North Carolina erupted into warfare, and a large number of both Indians and whites were killed. Military outposts at Fort Barnwell and Snow Hill, near Grifton, played a part in several sieges.
After the Indian Wars, the Tuscaroras of Eastern North Carolina left their homeland, journeyed north to join their relatives in upstate New York, and became the Sixth Nation of the Iroquois. Their descendants live near Niagara Falls today. Tribal decisions were by representative government, and it is thought that the model for the U. S. Constitution was taken from the Iroquois form of government which has separate but equal tribes working together for the common good.
Learn more about our Indian Heritage by visiting the Museum. Guided tours by appointment at any time throughout the year, weekdays, evenings, weekends. Call 252 524 0190 or 252 524 4708 (evenings).
The Contentnea Creek RV & Trail Park gives travelers, campers and outdoor enthusiasts all over Eastern, North Carolina a central location to relax and discover. The park has an abundance of primitive camping sites, as well as 10 hookup sites for recreational vehicles and campers along with 3 pull through sites. Extended stay along with shaded areas are all available. There are 30 amp and 20 amp powered hookups available for use. Pets are as well allowed. Campers, hikers and backpackers will enjoy the firepits, blazed trails, fishing and more
In 2002, planning began for the Contentnea Creek RV & Trail Park located on the Lenoir County side of town. The property acquired for this site is a result of the flooding from Hurricane Floyd in 1999. In 2004, RV hookups with electricity, water, and sewer connections were finished.
Picnic tables, benches, and grills were constructed by the Ayden-Grifton High School Metals Class, and a ½-mile walking trail was built. There is also an air conditioned restroom and bathhouse facility for primitive campers. Rentals are managed by the Grifton Police Department to provide 24 hour service and fees are $10.00 per space per night.
FOR RENTAL INFO OR QUESTIONS CONTACT:
GRIFTON POLICE DEPT.
Creekside Overlook Park was established in 2002 after the floods of Hurricane Floyd. The construction was sponsored by Start with Your Heart, NC Baptist Men, the Grifton Garden Club, and Pitt County Physical Activity and Nutrition Coalition.
Overlook Park is conveniently located between the Catechna Indian Village and the NC Wildlife Boat Ramp. It is currently dedicated as open space with the exception of a shelter with a cement pad that holds a picnic table and swing.
The Contentnea Creek provides excellent year-round fishing, and a challenging, swift-flowing current for the canoeist. This location is perfect for a family picnic after a long day on the creek.
The Grifton Public Library is a town-sponsored facility that is designed to serve the community as a whole and will focus on a broad range of materials in order to serve all age groups and cultures within the town.
New books are continually added to the present collection. These include bestsellers by popular authors, selections from the reading lists at our local schools, and requests from the community. In addition, there are audio books, large print books, VHS movies and cassette/book sets for children. Materials may be checked out for two weeks and renewed once.
The Library offers three local newspapers – The Daily Reflector, The Free Press and The Times-Leader. Also offered are many popular magazines which appeal to a wide range of interests.
The Grifton Public Library has three computers with Sprint DSL high-speed internet access for public use. Printing is permitted for a small fee. A fax and copying service is also provided for the community.
The Summer Reading Program and Reading Contest starts each June for children between the ages of 4 to 14. Cash prizes, arts/crafts projects, and activities related to the books read will be included to provide a fun learning experience for all.
Information on this program and other library news can be found in The Times-Leader and by calling the library.
568 Queen Street
Grifton, NC 28530
Phone: (252) 524-0345
Monday – Thursday from 11:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Friday from 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Saturday from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Closed on Sunday.
Librarians: Debbie Criswell and Shirley Mewborn
The Town of Grifton Museum Tennis Courts are located at 437 Creek Shore Dr. on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. and Creek Shore Dr., next to the Civic Center and Museum. Just across the street is Overlook Park, Catechna Indian Village and the NC Wildlife boat ramp. These two courts are lighted and perfect for an evening game on the waterfront with family and friends.
Grifton Town Commons, located at 553 Queen St, was dedicated in January of 1985 to serve as a focal point for the downtown area. It has been center stage for the annual Shad Festival for many years and is a common meeting place for the citizens of the town. In 2011, the Town Commons went through a total transformation to beautify the lot into a more welcoming area. The original circular brick structure was demolished, leaving only the monument seen in the middle. Benches, walkways, landscaping, fences and a trellis was constructed to improve the public space.
In the early 1970’s, Mattie’s Mini Park was developed as a result of the Grifton Resources Improvement Plan (GRIP) group. This was a community-coordinated council that encouraged cross-organizational efforts for community improvement from 1968 to 1978, which is also responsible for conceiving and planning the first Shad Festival in 1971. The park is named after Mattie Dixon, a life-long leader within the African American community of Grifton. Mrs. Dixon helped pioneer this project because there was nowhere in her community for children to play, and this vacant lot on the corner of Main and Gordon Streets was always littered with broken glass and trash. With the help of several community members and groups, this lot was transformed into Mattie’s Mini Park. It was furnished with a children’s play area including a swing set, basketball court, slides, a picnic area, and other playground accessories.
The land for St. David Street Park was donated by Mrs. Jean Williams and Mrs. Murle Nelson around 1951 when this area of town was being developed into housing lots to accommodate the growth of the DuPont plant. Barrus Construction Co. was persuaded by Mrs. Janie Mae Mewborn to build tennis courts on the park property. Around 1978 the Jaycees tore down the outdated park and began building a larger one with funds from the town, Shad Festival, Jaycees, and private donations, which was matched by a NC Heritage and Conservation grant.
In the early 80’s picnic tables, a shelter, and playground equipment were added to the park. In 1985 the tennis courts were resurfaced and fenced in. More recently in 2002, a large new playground unit was installed, as well as a paved one-quarter-mile walking trail, six new decorative lights, three new grills, four picnic tables, four benches, and a flag pole. The park also houses a large structure with bathrooms that is rented by the town for public use.
The Grifton Railroad Depot is available to the public for use for a rental fee. Any individual or group can rent the depot as long as they abide by the specified rules. Please contact Town Hall for more information.
The Grifton Shad Festival, beginning in 1970, is one of the most time-honored and longest running festivals in North Carolina. It is the oldest festival in Pitt County and the second oldest in eastern North Carolina. The Town of Grifton has even been recognized by the NC State Legislator as the Official Shad Capital of North Carolina. The Shad Festival stands for fun and fellowship and working together toward a common goal.
The town of Grifton invites you and your family to "come home for the holidays" at the Grifton Christmas Parade Watch the Christmas Parade come down Queen Street. Watch the lighting of the town Christmas tree. Come to the Grifton Depot to see Santa Claus and listen to Christmas Caroling. There is no admission or entry fee for the parade. However, the Parade Committee and the Grifton Fire Department will gladly accept new, unwrapped toys for the Toy Drive for local children.