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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 (Selma Union Depot) supporting Amtrak service.

The Town is also home to the Mitchener Station, which was built in 1855 and it is 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.

And 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 Vapo-Rub 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.”


Uptown 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.

Whether you want to shop, run errands, dine, or just sit back and be entertained, Uptown Selma is the place to be. From trinkets to treasures, our antique stores have items to delight all ages and interests. You can truly say “Shop ‘til you Drop.” When your feet need a rest, you can just sit on one of the comfortable benches that line our streets.

Uptown Selma also offers a wide range of services. It is within easy walking distance to banks, dental care, hair and nail salons, veterinary care, auto repair, shoe repair, printing services, groceries, a pharmacy with an old fashioned soda fountain and hand-dipped ice cream, seafood market, and more. You’ll be amazed at how many errands you can complete in a short amount of time!

Please click here (JCVB) for the Johnston County Visitor's Bureau with information for Accommodations, Restaurants, Shops & Attractions, and Things to Do & See. Throughout the year, the Town hosts special events, such as the All American Festival and Railroad Days. Please click here (Special Events) to see Special Events being held in Uptown Selma throughout the year.


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