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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Daring discussion

Posted February 3, 2011 10:31 a.m. EST
Updated February 4, 2011 10:20 a.m. EST

Quick! Name the North Carolina county that was formed on this day in 1870. I dare you to try.

Yes, the North Carolina General Assembly officially created Dare County on the third day of February in 1870.

If you know anything about Tar Heel history you can probably guess the origin of the name. This beautiful coastal county was named for Virginia Dare, the first child of English parents born in the New World. Virginia was part of the mysterious Lost Colony.

Dare is one of only three counties named for women. Wake County derives its name from Margaret Wake. She was the wife of colonial governor William Tryon.

Mecklenburg County was named for Princess Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz who married King George III of England. She gave birth to 15 children in her 21 years of marriage!

Let’s open up our discussion of North Carolina counties. What other interesting tidbits would you like to share?

I’ll start by saying that I memorized all 100 counties and county seats in one night during the 8th grade to secure an A in a NC history class. Little did I know that my work would serve me well years later as a NC broadcaster.