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Cumberland County, North Carolina is found in the Upper Cape Fear Valley. Settled in 1730, this riverfront county served as an important transportation link on the Cape Fear River. Today it is home to Pope Air Force Base and Fort Bragg, as well as the vibrant city of Fayetteville, the county seat, making it a vital military and commercial region.

Cumberland County encompasses almost 660 square miles in the south-central portion of North Carolina. The population of almost 303,000 (Census 2000 data) is spread through twelve towns and townships, the military posts and one city. The tiny towns of Wade, Linden, Falcon and Godwin contain less than a thousand residents, Vander and Eastover less than two thousand.

Hope Mills, located six miles south of Fayetteville and ten miles from Fort Bragg, is the county's fastest growing town. With a current population of almost 12,000, Hope Mills has grown 26% since 1990 and is estimated to reach 15,000 by 2010. Founded as an old mill village during the hey-day of the cotton industry, today many of its residents are military personnel. A lovely town graced with many parks and recreational areas, as well as beautiful Hope Mills Lake, residents here look forward to future growth while retaining their small-town atmosphere and quality of life. The historic downtown district mixes the old with the new by carefully preserving their architecture while offering the best in modern retail.

Spring Lake is a smaller town, with a population of just over 8,000. It is also a residential area for much of the military personnel. Fort Bragg is home to Special Operations Forces, the Army Parachute Team and the Delta Force, which concentrates on counter-terrorism. Almost 30,000 people reside on the base itself.

Fayetteville remains the shining star of Cumberland County. Directly off Interstate 95 and an hour's drive from the South Carolina border, Fayetteville mixes the grace and charm of Southern hospitality with the excitement and prosperity of a rapidly growing economy. With a population of over 130,000, the city is one of the sixth largest in North Carolina. The National Civic league honored Fayetteville with the prestigious All-American Civic Award in 2001.

Cumberland County's lovely moderate climate makes it a Mecca for golfers, and the many rivers and lakes offer fantastic fishing. The Clark Park Nature Center runs along the Cape Fear River, with trails throughout, perfect for jogging and cycling. More outdoor opportunities are available at the beautiful Cape Fear Botanical Gardens. Fayetteville serves as the cultural hub for Cumberland County, with many fine centers for the arts as well as eight different museums. The city teems with historic sites and it is an antique buyer's dream come true, with a number of specialty shops devoted just to them. Like the rest of Cumberland County, Fayetteville is growing at a fast rate, and offers many state and local incentives, encouraging new industries to locate in the city. Fayetteville State University and Technical Community College keep area students well-educated and prepared for careers in the quickly changing technological age.

From its early beginnings as a mere stop-off site along the river, Cumberland County, North Carolina has grown into a wonderful region with a prospering economy. With a major city or fine small towns from which to choose, it is an excellent place to work and live, and shows great promise for the future.