“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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North Carolina Facts and Figures

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database


on February 21, 2020

1876 artwork by Henry Mitchell, via Wikipedia Commons

 North Carolina ranks 13th among states and provinces with markers in this database. North Carolina is a state in the United States of America located in the American South. It is also in the South Atlantic region. North Carolina is some 54 thousand square miles in size with a population of around 10.5 million people. The state is divided into 100 counties and 97 of them have entries in this database. In North Carolina we have discovered historical markers in 435 cities and towns lying in 438 different ZIP Codes.

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How many historical markers are there in North Carolina? There are least 2,882 of them, by our count. We have cataloged 2,849 historical markers and 99 war memorialsóeach individually presented on 2,924 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. Pages for historical markers from this state make up 2.2% of our total. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another 33 historical markers in North Carolina that we donít yet have, and instead show on our Want List. Our correspondents have been finding and adding hundreds of markers a month to the database from all over the world, so next time you visit this page you will probably find that the numbers here have changed.

The first North Carolina marker in the database, Natíl Rochester, was added February 3, 2007. It was photographed in Oxford in Granville County and was erected in 2003. The last one added was submitted on February 11, 2020, and titled Berry O'Kelly School. It is in Raleigh in Wake County and had been erected in 1968. Keeping in mind that the erection date of many markers in the database is not known, the earliest historical marker we know of in North Carolina was erected in 1806. It was this one: Wachovia Settlement, and one of our correspondents found it in Oldtown in Forsyth County on March 12, 2012.

North Carolina Historical Categories
706 • Civil War
339 • Industry and Commerce
306 • Education
286 • Settlements and Settlers
257 • Colonial Era
254 • Revolutionary War
253 • Churches and Religion
221 • African Americans
203 • Government and Politics
174 • Cemeteries and Burial Sites
    ... and more ...

North Carolinians donít want to forget their Civil War history. How do we know? Because there are more historical markers in the database from North Carolina about the Civil Waró706 of themóthan about any other historical category. It is followed by Industry and Commerce with 339 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Civil War category was Bennett Place, added July 1, 2007. It had been erected in 1962 in Durham in Durham County. The last one submitted was submitted on January 6, 2020, and titled William B. Gould. It had been erected in 2018 in Wilmington in New Hanover County. The earliest marker erected with the Civil War category that we have listed was erected in 1852. It was Huggins' Island Fort, found in Swansboro in Onslow County on June 6, 2010.

Counties, Cities and Towns

The North Carolina county with the most historical markers listed in this database is Guilford County, with 193 of them. It is followed closely by Forsyth County with 189 markers. The Greensboro area of Guilford County has the highest number of markers within its limits, 127. In Forsyth County the area with the most markers, 94, is Winston-Salem.

Historical Markers in These
North Carolina Counties
193 • Guilford County
189 • Forsyth County
122 • Alamance County
118 • Wake County
111 • Cumberland County
102 • New Hanover County
90 • Buncombe County
83 • Dare County
77 • Johnston County
71 • Henderson County
    ... and more ...

Checking the database for the city or town in North Carolina with the most markers we again find Greensboro at the top of the list with 127 markers in or near it. It is followed by Raleigh in Wake County with 113 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers itís 27601 at the top of the list with 89 markers in its delivery area. (ZIP Code 27601 is assigned to Raleigh NC.) It is followed by ZIP Code 28401 with 69 markers. (28401 is assigned to Wilmington NC including the Cape Fear delivery area.)

Historical Markers Near These
North Carolina Cities and Towns
127 • Greensboro
113 • Raleigh
94 • Winston-Salem
75 • Wilmington
66 • Asheville
66 • Burlington
62 • Fayetteville
51 • New Bern
45 • Durham
44 • Oldtown
    ... and more ...

Getting back to Guilford County, the first marker added to the database from there, Confederate Hospital, was added September 3, 2007. It was erected in 1950 in Greensboro. The last one submitted was uploaded on November 9, 2017, and is titled Tri City Speedway, in High Point. The earliest marker erected in Guilford County that we have listed was erected in 1887. It was Col. Arthur Forbis, found in Greensboro on September 19, 2008.

Latest entry from North Carolina. Click to go there
By Lawson Academy, February 10, 2020
Latest Entry from North Carolina
“Berry O'Kelly School”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Raleigh. The first: Lamar Stringfield, was added May 2, 2008. It had been erected in 1988. The last: Berry O'Kelly School added on February 11, 2020. It had been erected in 1968. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1870: Confederate Monument, added on February 12, 2013.

Who Puts Up Historical Markers?

The North Carolina Division of Archives and History is currently in charge of the familiar silver and black official historical markers found all over the state and the Division of Highways typically installs and maintains those that are roadside. You will also find official markers erected by the Department of Conservation and Development, a predecessor. They erected their first marker in 1936, and we have 1,142 of their markers in the database.

In addition, North Carolina Civil War Trailsónot government affiliatedóalso erected numerous historical markers, and we have 944 of their North Carolina markers in the database. Also, a number of counties have erected historical markers on their streets and roads and within their public areas, as have some cities and towns.

Latest entry from North Carolina. Click to go there
By Pat Filippone, June 18, 2014
A Division of Archives and History Historical Marker

Then there are federal government agencies that put up historical markers, especially in national parks and other areas under their jurisdiction. And finally, there are the numerous public and private organizations and individuals that erect markers. Some do this as a continual endeavor, and others once in a while, to mark something, someone, or someplace they find important or interesting. When one of our correspondents comes across one that satisfies our criteria, we add it to the database.

Off the Beaten Path

Youíll find that even the smallest, least populated, or most rural areas of North Carolina have been marked with history. Check out Graham County, Jones County and Stanly County. We've only found, respectively, 3, 1, and 1 historical markers there. Visiting one or more of these parts of North Carolina might make for a pleasant road trip, and maybe youíll discover more historical markers while youíre there. If you do, perhaps youíll take the time to photograph them and, when you get home, become an HMdb correspondent by adding them to the database. Happy Hunting!

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