The North Carolina Visitor Center




Come to Hamlet

 Hamlet, NC


From it’s beginnings as a few scattered homes flanked by Marks Creek, Sandhills (now known as Hamlet) began as a mill community.  When the rail came through from Wilmington to Charlotte more and more homes grouped together and the name was changed to Hamlet when it was incorporated in 1897.


By 1936 approximately 30 passenger trains and along with them numerous freight trains left Hamlet each day, making Hamlet the “Hub of the Seaboard”.


Today as you wander through the streets of Hamlet your eye is captivated by what I understand to be the only example of a Victorian Queen Annne style railroad depot in North Carolina.  Built in 1895 and remodeled and “repositioned” in 2003 it now houses an extensive museum and many multipurpose rooms.  The basement is FILLED with a scale model of 1950s Hamlet with a running electric train meandering through the town.


Across the street is the Hamlet Depot Park with train and pavilion for all to enjoy.  Also due for completion by our annual Seaboard Festival (the last Saturday of each October) is an adjoining building which will house a caboose and classic cars. Also in the works on Main Street is the restoration of the Opera House. Built in 1913 at a cost of $30,000 people would come from near and far to enjoy performances in this magnificent building


About two blocks from this location you can take in a bit of jazz history at the Blue Room where Hamlet native John Coltrane performed in his early days.


My name is Irene Mayo, owner of Main Street Soda Shop located at 34 Main St. downtown Hamlet.  The upstairs to the building that houses the Soda Shop was used during the war as an embalming stop for many of the unfortunate souls being shipped through the “Hub” on their way to their permanent abode.  Later it became a grocery store (a forerunner to Winn Dixie). 


Now it’s “THE” place to stop for homemade goodies and great Hershey’s ice cream treats and to shoot pool or play checkers.  Each first Friday of the month you can eat some of the best flounder you will ever taste next door at Main Street Café and then check out the classic cars at our monthly “Cruise In – Burn Out”.  Then come in to the Soda Shop to enjoy live music and try your luck at winning a door prize or one of my homemade cakes.


Come to Hamlet, give us a try – you’ll be glad you did!