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A History of the Town of Parmele

Parmele, located in Martin County just over the Pitt County line near Bethel, was once called ”Junction.” It was here that several railroad lines came together. In 1891, E. A. Parmele of New York constructed a large steam mill there and opened a post office known as “Parmele.” In 1892, it received a telegraph office and in 1893, a city government was established. In 1899, the town was a completely "dry town," and consisting of two large sawmills, five general stores, several churches, Odd Fellows Lodge, Temperance Club, a school house and a town doctor, Dr. L. C. Ricks. On April 1, 1904, a fire ravaged the town. This fire caused Parmele to fade into history. However, in 1909, Professor W.C. Chance started Higgs Industrial School to educate African American people. And in 1910, Dr. Booker T. Washington visited Parmele on behalf of the school.
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