A recent resolution approved by the Mount Olive Town Board of Commissioners recognizing the town’s 150th anniversary outlines a long list of events that highlight the town’s history.
The town began with the coming of the railroad in 1838.
The Winn family was instrumental in the town’s establishment.
The Winns were a free family of African and Native American descent, who sold much of the present day Center Street land to what became known as the historic Wilmington and Weldon Railroad. When the rail line was completed it covered 161 miles of track, making it the longest railroad line in the world at that time.
Benjamin Oliver, a Duplin County planter and one of the founding fathers of Mount Olive, named the new community for the Biblical Mount of Olives.
On July 1, 1853 Mount Olive was granted a post office and grew steadily afterwards.
Dr. Gideon Monroe Roberts, the son in law of Oliver, was appointed the first postmaster and was also the town’s first physician. He also owned lands he purchased from the Winn family.
The Wilmington to Weldon Railroad opened a train depot in the vicinity of Center Street in the 1840’s. It was destroyed by fire in 1862. A passenger train depot was built in 1910 at the intersection of North Center and West College streets. Years later, it was relocated to 110 W. Main St. and is now used as a community Center.
The 1910 census indicated the population of Mount Olive at 393. The census in 2010, 100 years later, reported a population of 4,589.
The town of Mount Olive’s three oldest churches are the First Baptist Church established in 1863, Northeast Chapel Original Free Will Baptist established in 1865 and the First United Methodist Church established in 1870.
A number of businesses and industries established in Mount Olive grew and continue to prosper today, gaining regional and national attention.
The University of Mount Olive, established in the town in 1953, is well-known as a progressive institution of higher education that meets the needs of students throughout North Carolina and beyond.
The town of Mount Olive is often referred to as the Pickle Capital of the World, and is known far and wide for its North Carolina Pickle Festival and its New Year’s Eve Pickle Drop.
Mount Olive received its charter on March 1, 1870 by the state of North Carolina, and will celebrate its 150th anniversary on March 1, 2020.
Mayor Ken Talton and members of the town board of commissioners read the resolution on Feb. 2.