Bladen County, North Carolina
"The Mother County"
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Bladen County is the third largest county in North Carolina, with 879 square miles. It is located in the Southeastern area of North Carolina. Of the 100 counties in North Carolina, 55 were once a part of Bladen County.
A Brief History of Bladen County
Excerpts from the Historical page of the Elizabethtown-Whitelake Chamber of Commerce
Bladen County was first settled by the Highland Scots in 1734, who came to this Cape Fear River Valley seeking religious freedom. These Scots scattered throughout Bladen, but since most of the desirable land had been taken up, the overflow went on up the river to found Fayetteville and to populate the Scot Counties of Harnett, Richmond, Moore, Robeson, Scotland and Montgomery.
Bladen County was named for Martin Bladen, Lord Commissioner of Trade and Plantation. The County's boundaries in the year 1734 were described as, "No less than man dared to travel West."
Two hundred years ago, rivers were the only highways and, by the time of the Revolution, Bladen's great Cape Fear River was paying dividends. Down it floated flour, pork, beef, rice, butter, indigo, tar, pitch, turpentine, and lumber. By 1775, the manufacturing of turpentine was the principal industry. The turpentine and tar barrels were lashed together to make huge rafts which were floated down the Cape Fear River to Wilmington for transfer to ocean-going vessels.
Settlements sprang up all over the County. Landings on the river grew into communities. When the railroad came, it spawned still another set of communities.
Bladen's big river gave it's planters access to cash markets. When steamboats were built, they quickly found their way to the river. Not only did regular passenger and freight steamers run up the river, but others provided special service for the many plantation landings and Bladen boasted some of the finest plantation homes in the Southeast.
Historic spots of interest are found in various sections of the county. The famous Battle of Elizabethtown, where the Whigs broke Tory power, fought in the heart of the present county seat, was a decisive battle in the Revolutionary War.
Being in the eastern territory where the early missionaries pioneered, a number of churches in the area have records of early organization. Two of the old historic church buildings still stand: Brown March Presbyterian Church, begun in 1818; Carvers Creek Methodist Church, erected on the spot where Bishop Ashbury established the first Methodist Church in this section, and it is located on the site of the oldest religious settlement in Bladen County. The site was first used by the Carvers Creek Quaker Monthly Meeting House, established in 1734.
County seat: Elizabethtown
Bladen County Courthouse
PO Box 247
A Personal Message from the Webmaster
Hello everyone, I am Cathy Manly Sockol. I have volunteered to take over as webmaster for this Carolina Cuzins page. I would like to see this site grow and provide many links of interest. In that vein, please let me know what you would be interested in seeing on this page. Additionally, if you have something you would like to contribute, please e-mail me.
I am looking for anyone who would like to contribute links of interest, personal webpages dedicated to ancestors/history of Bladen County and photos or documents you'd like to share with others. If you are in a position to do look-ups and are willing to assist others in their research, please let me know.
If enough interest is shown (simply e-mail me),
I will add a message board to this site.
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Site updated Feb. 21, 2003
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