Joseph Montfort was a prominent man in colonial North Carolina. He was a clerk of the Halifax County Court, a member of the North Carolina colonial Assembly, a colonel in the militia, and a treasurer of the northern counties of the colony. In 1771 he was named Provincial Grand Master of America by the English Masonic order, the highest office an American has held in the Masonic organization. Montfort built his home in the town of Halifax on lot 52. This fashionable home existed till 1872, when it burnt down. The site was then covered with dirt and used for cotton farming. In 1972, the lot was found again using C. J. Sauthier's 1769 map. Archaeological excavations on the site began in 1978 and continued in 1979. The original foundation was uncovered, along with 1,600 other artifacts. Today a museum sits over the archaeological site. Visitors can view the foundation and other artifacts as well as tour the thirty-two-acre historic Halifax district.