Pamlico a part of Washington past and future

Published 2:02 pm Monday, May 22, 2017

Most of us at some time in our lives have been on the Pamlico River. We have swum, fished or boated on its pristine waters. Some have watched the sunset and marveled at the sight. Regardless of what the river has provided you, there are memories and friendships that have been made because of our river. We are so fortunate to have a river that can be utilized in so many ways unlike many others in our area.

Knowing the history of our river and the very prominent role it had in our city’s economic history only adds to its importance. At one time, our river was helping ships sail to the West Indies and ports further north with naval stores, lumber and even brought bananas to our port. The Pamlico made Washington the hub of eastern North Carolina. Shipbuilding along the shores and on Castle Island was a known commodity and wanted by those in the shipping business.

So, what have we done for our biggest asset to better utilize its potential? Most of the shipping has slowed since the early days, but we all have used its waters for recreational purposes. By promoting the recreational advantages, it has been found that active lifestyles afford a town to become better economically. The communities that promote recreational activity can also provide an economic boost in the form of increased tourism. Yes, boating, biking, kayaking and sailing are all healthy for us and our economy. It will also help us keep our genuine feel and provide a passion for community growth. The Pamlico River has long been our rallying point!

Our Harbor District is our Central Business District located beside the banks of the Pamlico. Your Washington Harbor District Alliance has helped rededicate the riverfront for our community use with greenways and a gathering space for events and festivals. Collaborating with the city, we hope that our volume of foot traffic has increased thus helping our merchants.

It is said “that cities with a great waterfront can offer a better quality of life.” We all want to create new reasons for people to visit and enjoy our beautiful Harbor District but also, to relocate and create new businesses here. This is the goal of our economic development team and who has a better waterfront than us? No one! It will not be a one-person project, yet the energy from different elements, along with locals and tourists can create something even more special than we have using the shores of the Pamlico. It has long been our asset, and to not use it would be our biggest mistake.

In conclusion, let me ask you to please join the WHDA. You can help us make a difference in our Harbor District by financially supporting our efforts. You can donate from either a major level all the way to our “Friends of The Alliance” level. Please call us today and help us make a difference. We need you!

As always, please give our merchants the first chance before you shop elsewhere. Remember out-of-town money will not return to help Washington like our local merchants do. If you have time and are not tired or full, you can always take a walk with the H-Rob! Love you guys!

Harold Robinson is the director of development at the Washington Harbor District Alliance.