Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Carolina County Pride

Posted February 22, 2010

What do you know about North Carolina’s 100 counties? What is your county? How did it come to be? Please join in the discussion. 

Do you know the newest county in North Carolina? It was Avery in the mountains. Avery County was formed in 1911 just after Hoke County the same year. Avery County was named in honor of Revolutionary War patriot Waightstill Avery. 

Do any of you know why North Carolina has exactly 100 counties? 

Did you know that we once had a Dobbs County in North Carolina? We also had a Glasgow County and a Bath, Bute and Tryon County. But they didn’t stand the test of time and politics. 

I grew up in Burke County which was named for Governor Thomas Burke who also served as a member of the Continental Congress. Burke was once a mother county. Out of Burke 16 other counties were born including Buncombe, Catawba, Mitchell and Yancey. 

When my dad was a young man he sketched and painted a map of Burke County. Attached is a copy of his painting which is included in my book Blue Ridge Reunion

What about your home county?  Feel free to brag and shout your praise.


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  • wolfpack_girl1976 Feb 23, 2010

    Love me some Person County (Bushy Fork) - named for General Thomas Person who was a Revolutionary War Patriot!!

  • bleslie Feb 23, 2010

    As best I can ascertain North Carolina has exactly 100 counties by coincidence.

  • jdlewis76 Feb 22, 2010

    That would be great, Bill!

  • tspoon Feb 22, 2010

    I'm from Cumberland County.
    Cumberland County began as a settlement in the Upper Cape Fear Valley between 1729 and 1736 by European migrants known as Highland Scots. The area became a vital transportation link to other major settlements. A receiving and distribution center was established in 1730 on the Cape Fear River. This settlement was known as Campbellton.

    The Colonial Legislature passed an Act in 1754 which resulted in the political division of Bladen County, thus forming Cumberland County. It was named after the Duke of Cumberland (William Augustus) who commanded the English Army. Campbellton was named the County seat during 1778. In 1783 Campbellton was renamed Fayetteville in honor of Marquis De La Fayette, a French general that served in the American Colonies Revolutionary Army.

  • washed ashore Feb 22, 2010

    No, please tell us why we have 100 counties! I thought it was just by coincidence!

    From Durham County.

  • bleslie Feb 22, 2010

    Thanks jd! We may get some prints made and if so I will let you know.

  • garnertoy Feb 22, 2010

    I grew up in duplin co

  • jbass2 Feb 22, 2010

    Alamance County - formed in 1849 when the western piece of Orange County was lopped off! Lots of "politickin'" in Alamance County which has provided North Carolina with three of its governors and two U. S. Senators: Governor Thomas Holt, Governor and U. S. Senator Kerr Scott, Governor Robert W. (Bob) Scott (Kerr Scott's son), and U. S. Senator B. Everett Jordan.

  • jdlewis76 Feb 22, 2010

    I hail from Edgecombe County, named for Richard Edgecumbe, a British Member of Parliament. Bill, thanks for sharing the map. I love maps! I have a collection of maps; I'd love to have a copy of your father's map. It's beautiful.

  • ncsuweatherman Feb 22, 2010

    Johnston County- formed in 1746 from Craven County, with parts of Wake, Orange, Wilson, and former Dobbs county being formed from Johnston County. Named after N.C. Governor Gabriel Johnston, and is one of the fastest growing counties in the U.S.




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Bill Leslie