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Rockingham County, North Carolina facts for kids

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Rockingham County
Map of North Carolina highlighting Rockingham County
Location within the U.S. state of North Carolina
Map of the United States highlighting North Carolina
North Carolina's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  North Carolina
Founded 1785
Named for Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham
Seat Wentworth
Largest city Eden
 • Total 573 sq mi (1,480 km2)
 • Land 566 sq mi (1,470 km2)
 • Water 7.2 sq mi (19 km2)  1.2%%
 • Total 93,643
 • Density 166/sq mi (64/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 6th

Rockingham County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 93,643. Its county seat is Wentworth. The county is known as "North Carolina's North Star."

Rockingham County is included in the Greensboro-High Point, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point, NC Combined Statistical Area.


Confederate Arms Factory Rockingham County North Carolina historical sign
Historical marker for Searcy & Moore gun factory, Hogans Creek, Rockingham County

Settling and founding

Between 1728-1733, the Dan River Valley was surveyed by William Byrd II. He soon thereafter purchased 20,000 acres of the land, attracting prospective farmers. The region's first western settlers came from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia and were of German, English, Scottish, and Irish descent. The county was officially formed in 1785 from Guilford County. It was named for Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, British Prime Minister from 1765 to 1766 and again in 1782. Rockingham's administration was dominated by the American issue. Rockingham wished for repeal of the Stamp Act 1765 and won a Commons vote on the repeal resolution by 275 to 167 in 1766. This made him a popular figure among British colonials in America, who would later become known as "Americans". People in North Carolina were still fond of him in the years following the independence of the United States.

Development of industry

By the early 19th century a network of grist mills had been established along the Dan and Smith rivers. The textile industry was founded in 1813 with construction of the first cotton mill at the junction of the Dan and Smith rivers. Founded by John M. Morehead, it was one of the first cotton mills in the state. The county was the location for the Searcy & Moore arms factory, which was at Hogans Creek, a small village 20 miles northwest of Greensboro. The factory produced firearms called the "N.C. Rifle" for the Confederate States of America forces during the Civil War. Owned by Alexander M. Searcy and Dr. J. S. Moore, the small factory made hundreds rifles for the South between 1862 and 1863. The town of Stoneville was incorporated in 1877. Francis Henry Fries later establish several mill sites in the region, with the construction of the Mayo Mills plant in 1895 in the village of Mayodan and another site in what became the town of Avalon in 1899. In 1911 a large fire destroyed the Avalon Mill. The town was soon thereafter abandoned and its workers were transferred to Mayodan, while some of the other residents relocated to Stoneville. The 60 or so Avalon company houses were put on logs and rolled by mules and horses to Mayodan, where some still stand. The only remains in Avalon are the mill's powerhouse, railroad tracks, and the dam works. The Mayo Mill, which was later called the Washington Mills-Mayodan Plant, closed in 1999.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 573 square miles (1,480 km2), of which 566 square miles (1,470 km2) is land and 7.2 square miles (19 km2) (1.2%) is water.

The Dan River and Haw River drain the county.

Rockingham County has a municipal airport eight miles (13 km) northwest of Reidsville called Shiloh Airport, which has a paved 5,000-foot (1,500 m) runway, a fixed-base operation, and hangar space.

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1790 6,211
1800 8,277 33.3%
1810 10,316 24.6%
1820 11,474 11.2%
1830 12,935 12.7%
1840 13,442 3.9%
1850 14,495 7.8%
1860 16,746 15.5%
1870 15,708 −6.2%
1880 21,744 38.4%
1890 25,363 16.6%
1900 33,163 30.8%
1910 36,442 9.9%
1920 44,149 21.1%
1930 51,083 15.7%
1940 57,898 13.3%
1950 64,816 11.9%
1960 69,629 7.4%
1970 72,402 4.0%
1980 83,426 15.2%
1990 86,064 3.2%
2000 91,928 6.8%
2010 93,643 1.9%
Est. 2015 91,758 −2.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the census of 2000, there were 91,928 people, 36,989 households, and 26,188 families residing in the county. The population density was 162 people per square mile (63/km²). There were 40,208 housing units at an average density of 71 per square mile (27/km²). The racial identities of the county were 77.33% White, 19.57% Black or African American, 0.27% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.69% from other race identities, and 0.83% from two or more races. 3.07% of the population were Hispanic or Latino identified of any race specific phenotype.

There were 36,989 households out of which 30.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.60% were married couples living together, 12.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.20% were non-families. 25.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the county, the population was spread out with 23.40% under the age of 18, 7.60% from 18 to 24, 29.40% from 25 to 44, 24.80% from 45 to 64, and 14.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 93.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $33,784, and the median income for a family was $40,821. Males had a median income of $30,479 versus $22,437 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,120. About 10.20% of families and 12.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.30% of those under age 18 and 15.50% of those age 65 or over.



Rockingham County NC Shiloh Airport is a public-use airport owned by Rockingham County. It is located in the town of Stoneville, eight nautical miles (15 km) northwest of the central business district of the city of Reidsville.

Major highways

  • Future I-73
  • US 29
  • US 158
  • US 220
  • US 311
  • NC 14
  • NC 65
  • NC 68
  • NC 87
  • NC 135
  • NC 150
  • NC 700
  • NC 704
  • NC 770


Attractions in Rockingham County include the state parks of the Dan and Mayo rivers, near Madison; the historic downtown areas of Leaksville, Draper and Spray in Eden; the Chinqua-Penn Plantation in Reidsville; the Deep Springs Plantation in Stoneville, High Rock Farm in Williamsburg, Mulberry Island Plantation in Stoneville, and the historic Penn House, located in Reidsville. One of the most famous attractions of the Reidsville area is Lake Reidsville. Various historic shops are found in the county, as well.

The Museum & Archives of Rockingham County (the MARC) is the county historical museum and is located in the Rockingham County Courthouse in Wentworth, the county seat. The museum features exhibits and artifacts related to Rockingham County history.


Map of Rockingham County North Carolina With Municipal and Township Labels
Map of Rockingham County, North Carolina With Municipal and Township Labels




  • Huntsville
  • Madison
  • Mayo
  • New Bethel
  • Price
  • Reidsville
  • Ruffin
  • Stoneville
  • Wentworth
  • Williamsburg

Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities

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