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Sampson County

Established in 1784, Sampson County was named after John Sampson, an early political figure who served in neighboring Duplin County. Scotch-Irish immigrants were the first Europeans to settle the region in the 1740s and 1750s. The annual Hollerin’ Contest at Spivey’s Corner celebrates the lost art of hollering.

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Greene County

Greene County, established in 1791, was the site of an important battle in the Tuscarora War. Its county’s seat is Snow Hill, and the county is named after General Nathanael Greene, Patriot general and victor at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse.

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New Hanover County

Referred to as the “Hollywood of the East” and home to the Azalea Festival, New Hanover County, although a relatively small county, has a prominent historical and cultural role in the state. Established in 1729, the county’s seat of government, Wilmington, attracts many vacationers and tourists year after year. Some important historical attractions include the Fort Fisher State Historic Site, the North Carolina Aquarium, and the U.S.S. North Carolina.

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Pamlico County

The Pamlico Indians resided in present-day Pamlico County before European settlers arrived in the mid-1600s. Formally established in 1872, the county’s seat is Bayboro, named for the Bay River. One important tourist attraction is the Oriental Regatta, a highly acclaimed sailboat race.

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Stokes County

With Danbury as its county seat, Stokes County lies in the north Piedmont and adjacent to the Virginia border.  The county was named after a Revolutionary Patriot, Captain John Stokes.  

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Nash County

On the border of the Piedmont and the coastal region, Nash was incorporated in 1777.  Its namesake is General Francis Nash who died while serving the Patriot cause during the Revolutionary War. An important agricultural county, Nash County farmers grow crops ranging from tobacco to cucumbers to cotton. The first Hardee’s Restaurant opened in Nash County in 1960, and Jim Thorpe started his baseball career in the region with the Rocky Mount Railroaders.

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Rockingham County

Formed out of Guilford County in 1785, Rockingham County was initially inhabited by the Cheraw Indians and later by the English, Germans, and Scotch-Irish.  Its current population is approximately 92,000.  Although not the county’s largest town, Wentworth serves as the county seat.

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Yadkin County (1850)

“Yattken”, a Siouan word for “land of big trees”, is attributed to the Yadkin River which in turn influenced the naming of Yadkin County and its seat of government, Yadkinville. Established in 1850, Yadkin County’s orginial inhabitants were the Saponi and Tutelo, and the first white families traveled to the region by way of the Great Wagon Road. The Yadkin River, the Yadkinville Bluegrass Contest and Fiddler’s Convention, and the Richmond Hill house are the most well-known characteristics of Yadkin County.

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Transylvania County (1861)

The “Land of Waterfalls”, Transylvania County has more than 250 falls in its three forest parks, and Whitewater Falls, a 400-feet high waterfall, is the highest cascade east of the Rocky Mountains.  The county, established in 1861 from the Jackson and Henderson Counties, is located in the southwestern section of North Carolina in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  The Brevard College and the Brevard Music Center are the cultural and academic centers of Transylvania.

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Orange County (1752)

Home of the University of North Carolina and several corporations in the Research Triangle Park district, Orange County holds an important place in the state’s history.  The Occaneechi originally inhabited the region in villages that lie along a bustling trade route.  Hillsborough (the seat of government), Chapel Hill, and portions of Mebane are all currently within Orange County.