Fountain is both the peak of Pitt County, at 112′, and its pit, a depth that deepens as Martin-Marietta mines. Our main street, Wilson Street, is an approximate boundary between the Tar River and Neuse River watersheds–rain on our northern half flows into the Tar, onto our southern half, into the Neuse.
We’re a one-block, one-stop light town, the western most in Pitt County, as near to Tarboro and Wilson as to Greenville.
Fountain was developed as a temporary terminus for the East Carolina Railway, begun in 1898 by Henry Clark Bridgers (1876-1951). His plan was to connect Tarboro with additional logging opportunities, and he added a town to his railway every few years. R.A. Fountain and his cousin, J.L., opened their Fountain & Co. in March 1901, in anticipation of the coming railway, which was completed soon after. J.L. Fountain, from Edgecombe County, had established a mercantile business in Falkland prior to opening the Fountain store. Fountain was incorporated in 1903.
In 1913, the Fountains built the third version of their general store, but on the night of November 18, 1915, it was destroyed by fire, suspected of being arson. Construction of the current R.A. Fountain building was begun in November 1916, by R.J. Proctor of Rocky Mount, who would subsequently build several other big brick buildings in Fountain and in Farmville. The new Fountain General Store opened in the spring of 1917.