Richmond County, NC
Historical Society

This site is sponsored by The Richmond County Historical Society.  We hope you enjoy your visit!

The Heritage of Richmond County

Highland Scots were among the first to settle in this area of North Carolina.  Most of the Scottish immigrants landed near the mouth of the Cape Fear River, and came up the river to “Cross Creek”, now known as Fayetteville, N.C.  They pushed up the Cape Fear river in search of fresh grazing and crop lands.  When good lands became unavailable in vicinity of Cross Creek, they began moving westward and getting land grants in what is now Richmond, Moore, and Scotland, and Montgomery Counties.  English settlers also came into the county from the direction of the “panhandle” in the northwest.

Many of North Carolina’s counties were formed in response to complaints about having to travel long distances to get to court, and Richmond County was no exception.  The difficulty of having to cross the Pee Dee River to get to Anson’s county seat spurred the Assembly to create Richmond county from Anson in 1779.  It was named in honor of Charles Lennox, the Duke of Richmond and friend of the American colonies.  He petitioned the House of Lords to grant the colonies their independence.

The first court of Richmond County was held in 1779 at the Presbyterian Meeting House, about three miles west of what is now Rockingham.  It was adjacent to the Wall’s Ferry Road.  Early quarterly courts were called “Court of Pleas and Quarter Session”.  The county seat was first known as Richmond Court House but was changed in 1784 to Rockingham.

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Richmond County Historical Society
P. O. Box 1763
Rockingham, N.C.  28380

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