|Robeson County, North Carolina is unique in being the most ethnically diverse county in the nation. The state's largest county geographically, it covers 951 square miles in the southeastern portion. It rates as the third top tobacco-growing region in the United States, and is one of the largest agricultural producers in
Settled by Scottish Highlanders and Irish in the 1730's,
Gaelic was the official language of Robeson County originally. A number of Native American tribes lived in the region, due to its wonderful climate for growing crops. A large group of both freed and runaway African American slaves also claimed the land. Today, both the
Lumbee and Tuscarora Tribes call Robeson County home, giving the county the ninth largest Native American population in the U.S. According to Census 2000 results: 38% of the region claimed Native American ancestry, 25% African American, 33% Caucasian, and the remainder of the residents are a mixture of other races. The total population numbered at over 123,000, spread out through rural land and fourteen municipalities.
Industrial development has discovered Robeson County. Interstates 95 and 74 bisect the region, as well as an excellent rail system. Nearby airports and easy deep-water access, create a wonderful environment for incoming firms. Today, Robeson County manufactures everything from tennis shoes and canned soup to pulp used in making legal tender. The
Economic Development Planners work hand in hand with state and local organizations and have many
incentives in place, encouraging new business growth.
Robeson Community College, found in the county seat of
Lumberton, ensures a skilled workforce. The college is a recognized leader in job training systems. Core Vantage Technologies is a major employer in the county, and the
Carolina Commerce and Technology Center is a newly constructed 600-acre expandable site, which will soon be home to major technology-focused businesses and training centers.
With all the growth and development that Robeson County enjoys, it still offers the best of both worlds. In between the industrial areas are miles of flourishing farmland and pristine rural beauty. Garden enthusiasts love this region, and in the springtime, flowers bloom in well-tended yards and roadside stands offer the finest in fresh produce. The world famous golf courses of
Pinehurst are an hour's drive, and the premier vacation coastline of
Myrtle Beach lies two hours away. For those who love mountains, the wonderful
Blue Ridge Parkway is three hours to the west.
Lumberton Area is the cultural and entertainment center for Robeson County, and a delightful place to live. The city of Lumberton itself holds over 20,000 residents, and boasts five golf courses and lovely parks. A number of fine
shopping areas are scattered through the region.
The town of
Pembroke is home to the Lumbee tribe as well as the site of the
University of North Carolina ’s Pembroke campus. Two pow-wows and a Native American Homecoming are hosted here each year. The town of
Red Springs retains its Scottish Highland traditions, with an annual Gathering of the Clans, which is full of dancing, pipe music, and just plain fun.
St. Paul's and
Rowland are two delightful small towns that grew up around the railroad, and today are known as very fine farming communities.
Fairmont is a main distribution town for the neighboring agricultural areas. With a tri-racial blend of Native and Afro American as well as Caucasian, Fairmont residents, as well as all of Roberson County, live peacefully and contentedly together, a fine example to the rest of the nation.
Roberson County, North Carolina anticipates much future growth as new industries move in, yet residents hold a firm commitment to keeping their small-town atmosphere and values.