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Carthage, North Carolina
Moore County Courthouse, located in the center of Carthage
Moore County Courthouse, located in the center of Carthage
Location in Moore County and the state of North Carolina.
Location in Moore County and the state of North Carolina.
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Moore
 • Total 5.9 sq mi (15.2 km2)
 • Land 5.8 sq mi (15.1 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.1 km2)
617 ft (188 m)
 • Total 2,205
 • Density 321.3/sq mi (124.1/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 910
FIPS code 37-10680
GNIS feature ID 1019550

Carthage is a town in Moore County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 2,205 at the 2010 Census. It is the county seat of Moore County.


Carthage is located at 35°19′46″N 79°24′31″W / 35.32944°N 79.40861°W / 35.32944; -79.40861 (35.329441, -79.408475).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 5.9 square miles (15 km2), of which, 5.8 square miles (15 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (0.68%) is water.


Union Presbyterian Church
Union Presbyterian Church

The town was the home of the Tyson Buggy Company, a predominant cart and buggy manufacturer in the 1800s. A common story told by residents is that after the closing of the Tyson Buggy Company, Henry Ford was interested in buying the old plant and converting it into a car assembly line. According to the legend, the owners refused to let Ford buy the plant and so he moved on to build a plant in Detroit. This story is often repeated despite a lack of evidence, and runs contrary to the established pattern of Ford (who was born and raised in Detroit) starting all of his businesses in Detroit. A few years afterwards, the Tyson Buggy plant burned down.

Another common story of folklore is that the town was originally to be the home of the University of North Carolina. In this story, however, city leaders determined that they didn't want the university built there. City leaders told the State that Carthage was on too steep of a hill for locomotives to climb and that access to the University would be limited if built there. This often-repeated story fails to take into consideration the fact that locomotives were not invented until two decades after the university had been built in Chapel Hill.

The town now has an annual event that takes place every spring called the Buggy Festival. This event is used to showcase the history of the town as well as show off music, hot rods, old tractors, old buggies made by the Tyson Buggy Company, and crafts from potteries in the surrounding areas. This event takes place in the town square around the Old Court House, considered to be a historic landmark.

The J.C. Black House, Daniel Blue House, Bruce-Dowd-Kennedy House, Carthage Historic District, Alexander Kelly House, and Moore County Courthouse are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 366
1890 485 32.5%
1900 605 24.7%
1910 863 42.6%
1920 962 11.5%
1930 1,129 17.4%
1940 1,381 22.3%
1950 1,194 −13.5%
1960 1,190 −0.3%
1970 1,034 −13.1%
1980 925 −10.5%
1990 976 5.5%
2000 1,871 91.7%
2010 2,205 17.9%
Est. 2015 2,395 8.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,871 people, 653 households, and 440 families residing in the town. The population density was 321.3 people per square mile (124.1/km²). There were 768 housing units at an average density of 131.9 per square mile (50.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 67.72% White, 30.84% African American, 0.48% Native American, 0.05% Asian, 0.37% from other races, and 0.53% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.86% of the population.

There were 653 households out of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.0% were married couples living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.6% were non-families. 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the town, the population was spread out with 21.5% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 22.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 86.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.1 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $35,050, and the median income for a family was $43,594. Males had a median income of $32,305 versus $23,603 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,343. About 8.1% of families and 14.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.4% of those under age 18 and 33.9% of those age 65 or over.

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