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Bladen County

Bladen County seal

LAND AREA: 874.94 square miles
POPULATION:
35,190
White: 19,806
Black/African American: 12,268
American Indian: 749
Asian: 70
Pacific Islander: 5
Other: 1,774
Two or more races: 518
Hispanic/Latino: 2,502 (of any race)

From the 2010 Census, US Census Bureau.

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Bladen County

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Coastal Plain

Geographic Information

REGION: Coastal Plain
RIVER BASINS: Cape Fear, Lumber
NEIGHBORING COUNTIES: Columbus, Cumberland, Pender, Robeson, Sampson

Bladen County, NC

by Bernadette Rider, 2006

Bladen County lies in the Coastal Plain region of southeastern North Carolina. It was formed in 1734 from New Hanover County and named for English commissioner of trade and plantations Martin Bladen. Its earliest inhabitants were the Waccamaw Indians. Colonial newcomers to the region included Highland Scots and English settlers. Bladen County has been named the "Mother of Counties" because all or part of 55 of North Carolina's modern counties were formed from its original land. It remains one of the state's largest counties. The county seat, Elizabethtown, was established in 1773 and incorporated in 1895. The town was named for either the "sweetheart" of Isaac Jones, owner of the land the town was built on, or for Queen Elizabeth I of England. "Tory Hole," near Elizabethtown, was the site of a key Revolutionary War battle in August 1781. Other communities located in Bladen County are Clarkton, White Lake, East Arcadia, Bladenboro, Dublin, and Tar Heel.

The county's physical features include the Cape Fear, South, and Black Rivers and the Bladen Lakes State Forest and Game Land. In former times, the county contained as many as 1,000 lakes; today, it has far fewer, but these include White and Jones Lakes, examples of the famous (and scientifically mysterious) Carolina Bays.

Bladen County farms produce swine, tobacco, blueberries, peanuts, and cotton. Industrial enterprises include peanut processing and the manufacture of textiles and clothing, plastics, and resin products. Bladen County hosts a number of annual festivals and events, such as the East Coast Delta Kite and Glider Competition. In 2004 the population of Bladen County was estimated to be 33,000.

Additional resources:

Bladen County Government: http://www.bladeninfo.org/government/index.html

Image credits:

User submitted images, Flickr. (How you may contribute).

Rudersdorf, Amy. 2010. "NC County Maps." Government & Heritage Library, State Library of North Carolina.

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