Eden, North Carolina
Leaksville Commercial Historic District
Official seal of Eden, North Carolina
Land of 2 Rivers
"Small Town, Big Outdoors"
Location of Eden, North Carolina
Location of Eden, North Carolina
Coordinates: 36°30′10″N 79°44′29″W / 36.50278°N 79.74139°W / 36.50278; -79.74139
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
incorporatedSeptember 12, 1967
 • TypeCity Council
 • MayorNeville Hall
 • City ManagerJon Mendenhall
 • Total14.38 sq mi (37.24 km2)
 • Land14.22 sq mi (36.83 km2)
 • Water0.16 sq mi (0.41 km2)
Elevation633 ft (193 m)
 • Total15,421
 • Rank70th in North Carolina
 • Density1,084.46/sq mi (418.72/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code336
FIPS code37-20080[3]
GNIS feature ID2403539[2]

Eden is a city in Rockingham County in the U.S. state of North Carolina and is part of the Greensboro-High Point Metropolitan Statistical Area of the Piedmont Triad region. As of the 2020 census, the population was 15,405.[4] From the late nineteenth century through much of the 20th, the city was a center of textile mills and manufacturing. The city was incorporated in 1967 through the consolidation of three towns: Leaksville, Spray, and Draper.[5][6]


Leaksville (now Eden) station of Danville and Western Railroad, 1912

By the mid-eighteenth century, the territory of present-day Eden was within a 70,000-acre (280 km2) estate owned by William Byrd II, a planter of Virginia and North Carolina. He originally called his estate "The Land of Eden".[7]

During the last years of his life, William Byrd II dreamed of bringing large numbers of Swiss Protestants to the "Land of Eden"; he eventually acquired more than 100,000 acres (400 km2) in Virginia. He envisioned an industrious, self-sufficient colony that would thrive on the abundance of the frontier. Byrd's dream was not to be realized. After years of negotiations, at least one boatload of Swiss did sail for "The Land of Eden" from Europe, but it was shipwrecked in a December gale off the coast of Virginia. None of the few survivors are believed to have reached Eden. Byrd died August 26, 1744. By that time, the "Land of Eden" began to be surrounded by small farms held by a wave of poor Scotch-Irish immigrants, whom Byrd had compared to the "Goths and Vandals."[citation needed][8]

"Eden" was inherited by William Byrd III, who shared none of his father's dreams of colonization. Young Byrd married Elizabeth Hill Carter in 1748. He sought to dispose of Eden to gain cash to support his grand lifestyle. He was finally successful on November 8, 1755, when he sold 26,000 acres (110 km2) in North Carolina to Simon and Francis Farley, two merchant brothers from the island of Antigua. By this time, yeoman settlement in the area was increasing at a considerable pace. The Farley brothers attempted to create plantations on some of the richest acres, but more frequently, settlers squatted on the land and built homesteads. In 1762 James Parke Farley, son of Francis Farley, went to Williamsburg to attend the College of William and Mary. He married Elizabeth Hill Byrd, daughter of William Byrd III and Elizabeth Hill Carter.[citation needed]

Many later settlers migrating to the Dan River Area knew little of William Byrd. They were familiar with an old Indian village in the area near Town Creek and the Farley holdings. This location became the center of settlement, and the 26,000 acres (110 km2) came to be called the Sauratown tract. In 1775, James Parke Farley and his new bride moved from cosmopolitan Williamsburg, Virginia, to Sauratown.[citation needed]

In the century that Sauratown was in existence, many families settled in the "Land of Eden", and their descendants have stayed in the area, including the Brodnax, Dillard, Ruffin, Morehead, Henry, and Winston families. Many Scots also settled in the area, including the Galloway, Scales, Watt, Lenox, Campbell, and Moir families. Other notable residents of the county include General Lighthorse Harry Lee.[citation needed]

20th century to present

Following previous unsuccessful referendums, on September 12, 1967, residents of Leaksville, Draper, Spray, and the unincorporated Meadows Greens Sanitary District voted to consolidate their communities, 2,252 to 1,753 with 60 percent of eligible voters participating. Of these, 784 elected to call the new city Eden, a term surveyor William Byrd II had used to describe the region in the 1700s. The consolidation took immediate effect, and Eden became the largest city in Rockingham County.[9]

In the late 1990s and early 2000s the local economy suffered due to the closure of several textile mills- an expected byproduct of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Fieldcrest Cannon laid off hundreds of corporate staff in the 1990s, Pluma closed its plant in 1999, and Spray Cotton Mills closed its yarn mill in 2001, and Pillowtex folded in 2003. Some former workers moved to larger cities in search of jobs.[11] The decline of textiles left the Miller Brewing Company's facility the town's flagship industry, but it announced its closure in 2015. The loss of the brewery and the textile mills had a knock-off effect on local retail stores, many of which closed due to the loss of customers and competition from national chains such as Walmart.[12]

On the third weekend of September; Eden hosts the annual River Fest each year to celebrate Eden's history. The Boone Road Historic District, Bullard-Ray House, Cascade Plantation, Central Leaksville Historic District, Dempsey-Reynolds-Taylor House, First Baptist Church, Dr. Franklin King House-Idlewild, Leaksville Commercial Historic District, Leaksville-Spray Institute, Lower Sauratown Plantation, Mt. Sinai Baptist Church, Site 31RK1, Spray Industrial Historic District, St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Tanyard Shoal Sluice, Three Ledges Shoal Sluice, and Wide Mouth Shoal Sluice are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[13]


Smith River

The Smith and the Dan River have their confluence on the south side of Eden. The Dan River flows along Eden's southern border while the Smith River flows from the north bisecting the city on its route to meet the Dan River. Greensboro is 36 miles (58 kilometers) to the south,[14] Reidsville is 15 mi (24 km) southeast via NC 14[15] High Point is 45 miles (72 km) south[16] and Danville, Virginia is 26 mi (42 km) northeast of the city.[17]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.2 square miles (39 km2), of which, 15.0 square miles (39 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (1.12%) is water.


List of neighborhoods in Eden include[18]

Major industry and economy

Eden Mall in 2020

Eden has three downtown areas, concentrated in the former towns of Leaksville, Spray, and Draper.[19][20][21]

B. Frank Mebane, who had married into the prominent Morehead family, started the first of his six textile mills in the area in 1893. Marshall Field took over the company in 1912 and named it Fieldcrest. The company made textile products that included bedding: sheets and blankets. It employed more than 3000 people. After taking over Cannon Mills in 1986, the company became known as Fieldcrest Cannon; it later moved its headquarters and 110 employees to Kannapolis, North Carolina. Changes and restructuring were affecting the textile industry throughout the South, as companies moved manufacturing operations to areas with cheaper labor, including offshore.[22][23][24]

In 1997 Fieldcrest Cannon was sold to Pillowtex. Pillowtex closed its Eden plants in 2003, laying off the last 495 textile workers.[25][26]

Miller Brewing Company ran a brewery in Eden into the early 21st century. In 2012 it still employed nearly seven hundred people, and produced nine million barrels annually.[27] Miller announced in 2015 that it was shutting down the brewery by September 2016.[28] In September 2020, it was announced Nestle Purina will move into the old MillerCoors facility and will open in 2022.[29]

In February 2017, it was announced that the European-based German grocery store Lidl had broken ground on a store in Eden. It was expected to open in early 2018.[30] As of April, 2019, the store had not opened.[31]

In 1980, the Eden Mall, an approximately 400,000 square feet shopping center, was constructed. The mall began to decline in the late 1990s when its Kmart store closed. More stores began to shut down, culminating in the departures of Peebles in 2008 and Belk in 2015. The mall's physical condition deteriorated over the following years. It was sold in 2013 and subsequently leased out to local businesses.[32] In the late 2010s, the mall gained media attention and became an example of a "Dead mall" due to lack of stores in the mall and had no anchors left,[33] the mall closed to the public in early 2020s.


Historical population
2022 (est.)15,325[34]−0.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[35]

2020 census

Eden racial composition[36]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 9,400 60.96%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 3,952 25.63%
Native American 62 0.4%
Asian 147 0.95%
Pacific Islander 4 0.03%
Other/Mixed 700 4.54%
Hispanic or Latino 1,156 7.5%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 15,421 people, 6,581 households, and 3,976 families residing in the city.

2000 census

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 15,908 people, 6,644 households, and 4,371 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,060.1 people per square mile (409.3 people/km2). There were 7,368 housing units at an average density of 491.0 per square mile (189.6/km2). The racial composition of the city was: 75.43% White, 22.15% Black or African American, 2.34% Hispanic or Latino American, 0.31% Asian American, 0.21% Native American, 0.06% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, 1.03% some other race, and 0.81% two or more races.

There were 6,644 households, out of which 28.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.0% were married couples living together, 16.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.2% were non-families. 31.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 23.1% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, and 19.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 85.0 males. For every 100 women age 18 and over, there were 79.4 men.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,670, and the median income for a family was $35,259. Males had a median income of $29,443 versus $21,797 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,275. About 13.9% of families and 17.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.6% of those under age 18 and 16.6% of those age 65 or over.

The city has three elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school.

Regional and national awards


See also: list of hospitals in North Carolina


The City of Eden operates under an Council/Manager form type of government. Elected officials include the mayor, elected at-large, and seven council members.[43] The Mayor and City Council serve for a term of Four years. The Mayor is the presiding officer and does not vote if the vote is tied. The Eden City Council meets on the third Tuesday of every month.[44]

On November 12, 2017, Neville Hall took the office of mayor.[45]

Current council members

Federal, state and county representation

For the 118th United States Congress, North Carolina's 6th congressional district is represented by Kathy Manning (D, Greensboro).[46] Eden is represented by one member in the North Carolina House of Representatives, Reece Pyrtle (R-65th), and one member in the North Carolina Senate, Phil Berger (R-26th).[47]


The Leaksville-Draper-Spray Triplets was a former Minor League Baseball team combined from three separate towns in North Carolina. The team played from 1934 through 1942 in the Bi-State League, winning the championship titles in 1935 and 1942 seasons. It was the Affiliate team for various current and former Major League Baseball teams such as, the Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Guardians, and Brooklyn Dodgers.[48]

Parks and recreation

The city contains the following parks:[49]


Eden is provided service by Piedmont Triad International Airport located in nearby Greensboro, North Carolina and Shiloh Airport located in Stoneville, North Carolina.[50] Highways serving Eden include US 311, NC 14, NC 87, NC 135, NC 700, and NC 770. The nearest Interstates to Eden are I-73, I-40, I-85, from closest to furthest. Closest major highway to the city is US 220 / Future I-73, which intersects NC 770 in Stoneville, and NC 135 in Madison.


Festivals and events

Each year in September Eden host its annual Fall Riverfest, which celebrates the city's art, history, and river heritage.[51] It is located in the "old" Leaksville shopping district on Washington Street, the oldest downtown street since 1917.[52] Others include: Charlie Poole Music festival, which features music legends such as, Mike Seeger and the Osbourne brothers.[53] The Eden chamber of commerce created the Eden Business Expo, as a venue for local businesses to present career opportunities, products, and services.[54]

Eden Museum

On September 19, 2009, the museum was officially opened.[55] In 2010, the exhibits were completed. The museum is an initiative of the Eden Preservation Society. The museum reflects on the city's history from the consolidation of Leaksville, Spray, and Draper, Triassic period, Saura Indians, William Byrd, Civil War, World Wars, the Korean War and much more.[56]

Smith River Greenway

The Smith River Greenway is a walking trail consisted with the Smith River that is 1.5 miles long extending along the Eden Family YMCA located on Kennedy street and Island ford landing filled with plenty of interesting plants and wildlife found in the trail. From a circumference view the Greenway can cross the smith river on meadow road. Local parking, picnic shelters, and restroom facilities are offered at the trailhead for visiting tourist. The city's next plan for the Greenway is to extend the trail towards the Spray dam.

On BoJack Horseman

Eden was featured in "The Amelia Earhart Story", the season 5 episode of the Netflix animated series BoJack Horseman. One of the show's characters, Princess Carolyn, is from Eden and returns to her hometown in seeking an adoption from a local girl.[57]


Rockingham County Schools serves the City of Eden. The Rockingham County School System was established in 1993.[58]

Elementary schools

Middle and high schools

Colleges and universities


Radio Stations

Local newspapers

Television stations

Notable people


  1. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Eden, North Carolina
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "City and Town Population Totals: 2020-2021". Census.gov. US Census Bureau. Retrieved July 9, 2022.
  5. ^ Brown, Leslie (July 22, 2000). "Eden Has Big-City Benefits, Small-Town Feel/Small Towns Merged To Form Eden, Rockingham County's Biggest City". Greensboro News & Record. Retrieved October 15, 2023.
  6. ^ Loos, Ted (November 25, 2016). "How a French Artist Turned a Stay in North Carolina Into Conceptual Art". The New York Times. Retrieved October 15, 2023.
  7. ^ "Land of Eden". ncpedia.org. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  8. ^ Booth, Jim. "A Tale of Three Cities: An Architectural History of Home". Blog: New Southern Gentleman. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  9. ^ "Tri-Cities Vote Consolidation; New Municipality Is Named Eden". The Danville Register. No. 27548. September 13, 1967. p. 1-B.
  10. ^ Fernandez, Jennifer (February 1, 2019). "5 years after Dan River coal ash spill, Duke Energy close to finishing state-mandated cleanup at site". greensboro.com. Greensboro News & Record. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  11. ^ Chapman, Dan (December 26, 2004). "Battered mill town braces for onslaught". The Charlotte Observer. pp. 1D, 4D.
  12. ^ Martin, Edward (October 4, 2017). "Eden's tough transition as MillerCoors departs". Business North Carolina. Retrieved January 3, 2023.
  13. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  14. ^ "Distance between Greensboro NC, & Eden NC". distance-cities.com. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  15. ^ "Distance between Eden, NC & Reidsville, NC". www.distance-cities.com. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  16. ^ "Distance between High Point, NC & Eden, NC". www.distance-cities.com. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  17. ^ "Distance between Eden, NC & Danville, VA". www.distance-cities.com. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  18. ^ "Eden, NC - 27288 - Real Estate Market Data". Neighborhood Scout. Retrieved August 27, 2023.
  19. ^ Brown, Jennifer Atkins (May 15, 2022). "Rockingham's diverse economy boosts growth". News & Record (Rockingham Now ed.). Retrieved January 4, 2023.
  20. ^ "City of Eden In Plans to Revitalize Downtown Area". WFMYnews2.com. March 30, 2015. Retrieved August 27, 2023.
  21. ^ Ewing, Charles (March 12, 2021). "Historic hotel in Eden is key to downtown rebirth". Fox8 WGHP. Retrieved August 28, 2023.
  22. ^ Reynolds, Jane (October 4, 1996). "Fieldcrest Cannon Closing Eden Plant". Greensboro News & Record. Retrieved August 27, 2023.
  23. ^ Ross, Philip (December 8, 1987). "Business People; Fieldcrest Cannon Picks A Quarter-Century Man". The New York Times. Retrieved August 27, 2023.
  24. ^ Cochran, John (December 13, 1992). "Eden Loses Fieldcrest Corporate Core". Greensboro News & Record. Retrieved August 27, 2023.
  25. ^ "Fieldcrest Mills architectural plans 1911-1979". North Carolina State University. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
  26. ^ Catanoso, Justin (October 24, 2005). "Eden changes its tune for the better". Triad Business Journal. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
  27. ^ "Locations". Miller Brewing Company. Archived from the original on October 13, 2012. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  28. ^ "MillerCoors to close Rockingham County plant". September 14, 2015.
  29. ^ "Nestlé Purina PetCare will create 300 jobs in Rockingham County". WGHP Fox 8. September 30, 2020. Retrieved September 7, 2021.
  30. ^ Hunt, Gerri (February 8, 2017). "German grocer Lidl breaks ground in Eden". News&Record. Retrieved February 17, 2017 – via Www.greensboro.com.
  31. ^ Grocery Store Locator Lidl. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  32. ^ Davis, Jonelle (October 6, 2013). "For some local malls, it's either reinvent or become irrevelant [sic]". News & Record. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
  33. ^ Bell, Dan (September 28, 2017), DEAD MALL SERIES: FROM THE 80s to the 70s - Galleria at Erieview OHIO Eden Mall NC, retrieved December 20, 2023
  34. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places in North Carolina: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2022". Census.gov. Retrieved April 19, 2024.
  35. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  36. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 21, 2021.
  37. ^ "About us: UNC Rockingham Health Care". www.uncrockingham.org. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  38. ^ Craver, Richard (August 5, 2022). "Eden hospital changes name to UNC Health Rockingham". Winston-Salem Journal. p. A6.
  39. ^ "UNC Rockingham Rehabilitation and Nursing Care Center – Eden, NC". www.uncrockingham.org. Retrieved September 24, 2019.
  40. ^ "UNC Rockingham Wound Healing Center – Eden, NC". uncrockingham.org. Retrieved August 27, 2023.
  41. ^ "Cone Health HeartCare At Eden: A Department of the Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital". Cone Health. Retrieved August 27, 2023.
  42. ^ "UNC Rockingham Outpatient Rehabilitation Therapy, A Service of UNC Rockingham Hospital". uncrockingham.org. Retrieved October 16, 2023.
  43. ^ "City Government". Www.edennc.us. Archived from the original on July 31, 2016. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  44. ^ "City Council | City of Eden, NC". www.edennc.us. Retrieved May 29, 2023.
  45. ^ Melrose, Justyn (November 12, 2017). "Eden elects new mayor, incumbents return to council". greensboro.com. Greensboro News & Record. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  46. ^ "About Congresswoman Kathy Manning". manning.house.gov. Retrieved October 15, 2023.
  47. ^ "Rockingham County Representation". North Carolina General Assembly. Retrieved October 16, 2023.
  48. ^ "Woodpeckers: 63 days and counting – Carolina League history". The Fayetteville Observer. February 1, 2019. Retrieved August 28, 2023.
  49. ^ "Parks & Recreation". edennc.us. Retrieved August 7, 2022.
  50. ^ "About PTI". flyfrompti.com. Retrieved August 7, 2022.
  51. ^ "Pottery Festival". Retrieved November 25, 2016 – via Www.edennc.us.
  52. ^ "Riverfest". Retrieved November 26, 2016 – via Www.edennc.us.
  53. ^ "Chalie Poole Music Festival". Archived from the original on November 26, 2016. Retrieved November 26, 2016 – via Www.edennc.us.
  54. ^ "Eden Business Expo". Retrieved November 25, 2016 – via Www.edennc.us.
  55. ^ Payne, Latala (September 13, 2009). "Eden Museum gears up for grand opening". newsadvance.com. Retrieved October 15, 2023.
  56. ^ Fernandez, Jennifer (August 19, 2009). "Telling the Story of Eden". Greensboro News & Record. Retrieved October 15, 2023.
  57. ^ Marshall-Harris, Sharonda (April 30, 2020). "Princess Carolyn, a Deconstructed Mary Sue". medium.com. Retrieved October 15, 2023.
  58. ^ "Rockingham County Schools Homepage". rock.k12.nc.us. Retrieved August 27, 2023.
  59. ^ "Central Elementary". Retrieved January 13, 2017 – via Www.rock.k12.nc.us.
  60. ^ "Douglass Elementary". Retrieved January 17, 2017 – via Www.rock.k12.nc.us.
  61. ^ "Draper Elementary". Retrieved January 13, 2017 – via Www.rock.k12.nc.us.
  62. ^ "Leaksville Spray Elementary". Retrieved January 13, 2017 – via Www.rock.k12.nc.us.
  63. ^ "About Holmes Middle". Holmesmiddleschool.org. Retrieved September 12, 2021.
  64. ^ "Our School – Morehead High School". Moreheadhigh.org. Retrieved September 12, 2021.
  65. ^ "RCC History". rockinghamcc.edu. Retrieved May 4, 2024.
  66. ^ "What We Do – Edens Own Journal". edensown.com. Retrieved August 4, 2022.
  67. ^ "WFMY News 2 Homepage". WFMY News 2. Retrieved August 4, 2022.
  68. ^ "Fox8 WGHP". WGHP Fox 8. Retrieved August 27, 2023.
  69. ^ "The Official website of WXII 12 News". wxii12.com. Retrieved August 27, 2023.
  70. ^ "Andre Chase Biography". WWE. Retrieved May 4, 2024.
  71. ^ "Lancelot Bravado: Profile & Match Listing - Internet Wrestling Database (IWD)". www.profightdb.com. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  72. ^ margaret.moffett@greensboro.com, Margaret Moffett. "Here's a look at all the candidates running for local, state and federal offices". greensboro.com. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  73. ^ "Tik Tok Sensation Tabitha Brown Remembers her Triad Roots". Spectrum News. May 24, 2020. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  74. ^ Johnson, Danielle (January 8, 2012). "Former NBC 10 Weatherman Herb Clarke Dies". nbcphiladelphia.com. NBC 10 Philadelphia. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  75. ^ Brown Atkins, Jennifer (March 13, 2022). "Eden native part of Academy Award-nominated movie West Side Story". Greensboro News & Record. Retrieved August 27, 2023.
  76. ^ Fish, Ann (April 24, 2016). "Ann Fish: Morehead and NFL alum recall 'Panther stadium was electric'". greensboro.com. Greensboro News & Record. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  77. ^ Kane, Dawn (August 5, 2017). "Photographer Carol Highsmith's work for Library of Congress is her calling". Greensboro News & Record. Retrieved August 30, 2023.
  78. ^ Brooks, Senita (November 5, 2021). "A King Among Kings". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved October 15, 2023.
  79. ^ "Charlie Poole (1892-1931)". North Carolina History Project. Retrieved October 16, 2023.
  80. ^ Takayo Siddle - Men's Basketball Coach - UNC Wilmington. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  81. ^ "Dr. Ed Wilson, "Mr. Wake Forest"". zsr.wfu.edu. Wake Forest University. October 16, 2015. Retrieved April 8, 2017.