Moore County (1784)

Written By Jonathan Martin


A border county between North Carolina’s Piedmont and Coastal Plain Regions, Moore County was established in 1784. Named after Alfred Moore, a Revolutionary War veteran and U.S. Supreme Court justice, Moore County was annexed from Cumberland County shortly after the American Revolution. Carthage, the county seat, was established in 1796, bearing the name of the ancient African city. Other towns and communities include Aberdeen, Seven Lakes, Pinehurst, Hill Crest, Cameron, Southern Pines, Eastwood, Eagle Springs, Parkwood, and Robbins.


Originally settled by the Highland Scots, Moore County’s economy centered on agriculture and lumber. A gun factory, carriage manufacturer, and other minor business enterprises developed after the American Revolution. The Raleigh and Augusta Railroad eventually passed through Moore County in the 1870s.  Soon after the railroad arrived, the lumber market increased almost exponentially because transportation improvements facilitated the shipment of goods. 


In the late 1890s, the new railroad led to the formation of the resort towns of Southern Pines (originally Shaw’s Ridge) and Pinehurst. Northerners and Southerners alike soon took advantage of the balmy weather and the recreations these towns offered. Today, Southern Pines and Pinehurst are known for their golf courses, and golfers from around the world consider Moore County a sporting destination.  In 2005, in fact, Pinehurst Number Two Course hosted the U.S. Open Championship.


Moore County is also rich with historical and cultural hallmarks, including the House in the Horseshoe, the Carolina Hotel, and the Aberdeen Historic District and several cultural institutions featuring the arts, literature, and gardening. The Moore County Agricultural Fair, the Bark-in-the-Park Festival, the Carthage Buggy Festival, and the North Carolina Playwright Festival provide other recreational and cultural opportunities.