IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES
SELMA, NORTH CAROLINA AQUAPONICS PROJECT
ABOUT THE TOWN OF SELMA, NC
SELMA is located in the great Coastal Plains of North Carolina. It lies in the richest agricultural sections of America, 30 miles east of Raleigh and 115 miles west of the Atlantic Ocean off of US Highway 70; 75 miles south of the Virginia state line and 115 miles north of the South Carolina state line off Interstate 95 from Exits 97 and 98. Selma was officially chartered as a Town on February 11, 1873, but the Town's true birth took place on May 1, 1867 when there was a public sale of lots around a newly established station on the North Carolina Railroad. Selma was born as a "Railroad Town," and our rail heritage is still evident today, with our recently renovated 1924 Union Depot supporting Amtrak service. The Town is also home to the Mitchener Station, which was built in 1855 and thought to be the oldest surviving train station in North Carolina. When Interstate 95 was built in the late 1950s, the Town experienced growth due to its proximity to the Interstate. Today, there are many hotels and restaurants located in the area for visitors traveling on Interstate 95.
One of Selma's most famous residents was Lunsford Richardson, who was born in 1854 on a farm near Selma. He rose to fame as the inventor of Vick's Vapo Rub. After graduating from Davidson College at the top of his class, he became a teacher and then a pharmacist, working out of Dr. Joshua Vick's drugstore in Selma. While in Johnston County, he invented Richardson's Croup and Pneumonia Cure Salve and later changed the name to Vick's Salve in honor of Dr. Vick. The name was then changed to Vick's VapoRub and a nationwide advertising campaign made the name a household word. In 1905, Richardson convinced the Postal Service to allow him to mass-mail his advertising circulars simply to "Boxholder" instead of individuals. Because this marked the first such mailing, Richardson gained the dubious distinction of also being known as "the father of junk mail."
Selma has the potential to become a major distribution center. The Interstate 95 luring Eastern Seaboard travelers from Maine to Florida has two exits in Selma and Highway 70 from Raleigh to the Coast crosses I-95 at Exit 97.
New and expanding industries are driving the economy. Sysco has invested nearly $40 million in a food distribution facility creating 500 jobs that pay $48,000 on average.
Agriculture remains a vital force in Johnston County, where annual crop cash receipts of $145 million ranked first in the state.
Johnston Community College launched a $4 million, 30,000-square-foot Workforce Development Center in which tailors training to meet emerging job demands. The county’s diversified economy includes auto supplier SONA BLW with 150 metal forging jobs in Selma.
Two railroads – the Norfolk-Southern and CSX cross in Selma making it a prime area for industries needing rail access. The Selma Crossing certified site is a 160-acre property available for immediate development
Amtrak station in Uptown connects Selma to New York, Washington, DC, Atlanta, and New Orleans.
Nationally recognized hotels have located in Selma – Hampton Inn, Quality Inn, Days Inn - as well as major retailers such as J.R.’s Tobacco and DeWayne’s Home & Garden Showplace.