Scotland County (1899)

Written By Jonathan Martin


As its name suggests, Scotland County is a region steeped in Scottish heritage and history. Although the early Cheraw were the first Indians in the area, the Highland Scots, along with English and Quaker settlers, colonized the region as early as the 1720s. Despite the English presence, the Highland Scots made up the largest portion of emigrants to this section of what was then a royal colony of North Carolina.


Scotland County was created in 1899, out of portions of Richmond County.  Laurinburg, chartered in 1877, is the governmental seat for Scotland County.  Its namesake is linked to the McLaurin family, a notable Scottish clan that accompanied the early Highland settlers. East Laurinburg, Old Hundred, Hasty, Laurel Hill, Gibson, and Johns are other Scotland County communities. Some notable geographic characteristics in the county are the Lumber River, Big Muddy Lake, and Juniper Swamp.


The economy of Scotland County, like so many other rural counties, depends on agriculture. While forest products, such as lumber and paper, supplement some of the county’s crop production, corn, cotton, tobacco, swine, and soybeans are among the top agricultural products. Textiles, cabinet accessories, mobile homes, and hospital equipment are the primary goods manufactured within the region.


Much of the county’s historical aspects draw from the Scottish lineage that is a significant part of the county. St. Andrews Presbyterian College, a model of the original Christian university in Scotland, was instituted in 1958 in Laurinburg. The Scottish Heritage Center, located inside the college, houses numerous texts, books, and artifacts that provide a glimpse into early Scottish settlement. The Richmond Temperance and Literary Society Hall, the Camp Mackall Military Reservation, and the Jesse Mason House are a few of the historical places within Scotland County. Some important cultural events and gatherings in the region include ScotchFest, the John Blue Cotton Festival, and Laurinburg Christmas Parade.