Richmond County Courthouse in Rockingham
Location within the U.S. state of North Carolina
North Carolina's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond and Lennox|
|• Total||480 sq mi (1,200 km2)|
|• Land||474 sq mi (1,230 km2)|
|• Water||6.1 sq mi (16 km2) 1.3%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||98/sq mi (38/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
Richmond County is a county located on the central southern border of the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 46,639. Its county seat is Rockingham. Richmond County comprises the Rockingham, NC Micropolitan Statistical Area. The Hamlet-Rockingham metropolitan area has a population of 22,579.
The county was formed in 1779 from Anson County. It was named for Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond and Lennox who was an Englishman and a member of the Parliament of the United Kingdom who sided with the colonists in America during the American Revolution. Kader Keaton, a colonial American officer in the American Revolutionary War, was a founder of Anglo-American settlement in Richmond County.
During the 19th century, it became developed for plantation culture.
In 1899 the southeastern part of Richmond County was organized as Scotland County.
The city of Hamlet, in the southeastern sector of Richmond County, is known for its railway history. Prior to the turn of the 20th century, the Seaboard Air Line Railroad moved to Hamlet, helping the town become a crossroads for rail spurs extending from Florida to New York and all points east and west. In 1900, the SAL Railroad constructed the Seaboard Air Line Passenger Depot in Hamlet, a Victorian-style train station that has become one of the most photographed train stations in the eastern United States. The depot was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 and was fully restored in 2004.
In 2009, the city of Hamlet dedicated a new building to the Tornado steam engine locomotive—the first one in the State of North Carolina. The original locomotive was built in 1839 by D.J. Burr & Associates of Richmond, Virginia. It was briefly captured by Federal forces during the American Civil War before being repatriated. In 1892, the Tornado was featured in the Great Centennial Celebration of Raleigh, North Carolina. Hamlet is the home of the National Railroad Museum and Hall of Fame, a striking collection of artifacts from the Seaboard Air Line Railroad spanning decades of time.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 480 square miles (1,200 km2), of which 474 square miles (1,230 km2) is land and 6.1 square miles (16 km2) (1.3%) is water.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 46,564 people, 17,873 households, and 12,582 families residing in the county. The population density was 98 people per square mile (38/km2). There were 19,886 housing units at an average density of 42 per square mile (16/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 56.5% White, 31.70% Black or African American, 0.60% Native American, 2.10% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.08% from other races, and 1.18% from two or more races. 5.90% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 17,873 households, out of which 32.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.30% were married couples living together, 17.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.60% were non-families. 26.30% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.01.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 25.80% under the age of 18, 10.10% from 18 to 24, 27.70% from 25 to 44, 22.80% from 45 to 64, and 13.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 96.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.70 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $28,830, and the median income for a family was $35,226. Males had a median income of $27,308 versus $20,453 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,485. About 15.90% of families and 19.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.70% of those under age 18 and 18.90% of those age 65 or over.
Richmond County is a member of the regional Lumber River Council of Governments.
As of the court-mandated redistricting in 2015, to correct racial gerrymandering of congressional and state districts, Richmond County is located entirely in North Carolina's 9th congressional district. It is represented in the 116th United States Congress by Dan Bishop (R).
The state redistricting resulted in Republicans winning 10 of 13 congressional seats in 2016, although Democrats had 47% of the statewide vote. In the 2016 presidential election, Richmond county voters were recorded as favoring the Republican candidate (see chart below). This was not in keeping with previous trends in presidential voting in the county, which had favored Democratic candidates for years.
In 2018, Republicans won 9 of 13 seats, with one election not certified because of fraud connected to absentee ballots by Republican operatives hired by the Harris campaign (see below). Democrats won 48% of the statewide vote and would have expected to win more seats. Two lawsuits were filed against the state for legislative partisan gerrymandering, intended to minimize or suppress voting by Democratic constituencies for both congressional and state legislative districts. The combined case will be heard by the US Supreme Court in 2019.
In the 2018 election, Mark Harris defeated incumbent Pittenger in the Republican primary. Harris was initially also called as the winner of the general election against Democratic challenger Dan McCready, but the result was not certified, pending an investigation into allegations of absentee ballot fraud.
On February 21, 2019, the bipartisan state Election Board unanimously voted to call for a new election, because of evidence of apparent fraud by Republican operatives hired by the Harris campaign. Harris also supported holding a new election and said he would not run again. As of May 2019, a new election is being held on September 10, 2019.
Richmond County is well known for its history in auto racing with the advent of the Rockingham Speedway, which opened in 1965. Until 2005, this one-mile race track featured bi-annual NASCAR-sanctioned events in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series divisions. Recently, the race track hosted several other events including ARCA, USAR Pro Cup, and UARA Late Models. Rockingham also included a weekly scheduled series of events for Bandolero and Legends race car classes at the 1/2 mile infield track dubbed the "Little Rock". As events were moved to other sites, the speedway has sat idle since 2015.
Richmond County hosts lawnmower races. Each weekend from April–October, the Lion's Club of Ellerbe puts on a weekly show, attracting fans and competitors from surrounding counties and states.
The County is host to Rockingham Dragway, sanctioned by the International Hot Rod Association. It hosts more than 90 drag racing events per year.
Richmond County also has notable options for both fishing and hunting. Richmond County is home to the Sandhills Game Lands and the Pee Dee Wildlife Refuge, where activities such as hiking, biking, horseback riding, boating, and hunting are available to the public. Popular hunting game include deer, turkey, quail, and fox squirrels. Blewett Falls Reservoir is the largest lake in the county, offering fishing opportunities for Big Blue and Flathead Catfish as well as Striped Bass and Shad. Rockingham is working on developing a 10-mile "Blue Trail" for paddling and canoeing along Hitchcock Creek and a four-mile stretch of the Pee Dee River, with camping allowed at the final portage point - Diggs Tract. The Loch Haven Golf Center established in 1971 is a beautiful 18 Hole USGA golf course surrounded by old growth longleaf forests in the Sandhills region of North Carolina just south of Rockingham, NC off of US 1. It is a challenging par 71 with yardage from the blues at 6,332.
|url=value (help). Retrieved 17 May 2019. Missing or empty