Fayetteville, North Carolina

Located in the Sandhills of the south-central part of North Carolina, on the Cape Fear River, is the "Military-town" of Fayetteville. It is about an hour away from the state capital of Raleigh. Fayetteville is the county seat of Cumberland County and the home of 200,564 people.

Fayetteville is the first US city to be named after Marquis de Lafayette, a French hero who helped America during the Revolutionary War. Legends tell it is also the only Fayetteville he actually visited. The city was originally settled by Scottish immigrants in 1762. In 1783, two early settlements, Cross Creek and Campbellton, were converged to form Fayetteville. The city was North Carolina's state capital from 1789-1793, before the role of permanent state capital was given to Raleigh. One of the Fayetteville's nicknames, "The Old Capitol," refers to this part of history.

Fayetteville is closely associated with the US Army's Fort Bragg, the training post for thousands of elite paratroopers for deployment to high-priority missions all over the world. The fort is located about 12 miles northwest of the city. Fayetteville is also the home to America's first state university, the University of North Carolina, as well as the site of Babe Ruth's professional home run. The city has the distinction of being the only city in North Carolina to win the coveted "All America City Award" from the National Civic League three times.

Fayetteville is a great place to live in. There are intriquing options in entertainment, education, affordable living and many other benefits the city offers its residents. It is also an area of history and culture.

Fayetteville History

Fayetteville's first settlers were immigrants from the highlands of Scotland, who arrived via the Cape Fear River in 1739. The origin of Fayetteville, however, is actually traced to two settlements. One is Cross Creek, a trading post established by the Scots in 1756. The other is Campbellton, a town created by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1762. In 1783, the two settlements were merged and renamed Fayetteville in honor of French military hero General Marquis de Lafayette. In 1825, Lafayette stopped by Fayetteville NC during his grand tour of the US.

The new town rapidly grew. In the late 18th century, Fayetteville served as the political center of the state. In 1786, it hosted the North Carolina General Assembly that chose delegates to the 1787 Constitution Convention. In 1789, it hosted the General Assembly that chartered the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, America's oldest state university.

During the antebellum era of the 19th century, Fayetteville became the regional distribution center of goods and services in the state. By 1820s, the city had a courthouse, banks, mercantile stores, bookstores, schools, and a lodging house. The city hosted musicals, drama, and race horses. However, the population remained relatively small. The 1820 census showed a population of 3,500 residents only.

The Great Fire of 1831, one of the worst fire disasters in the nation's history, razed much of downtown Fayetteville. Over 600 buildings were destroyed. The citizens diligently worked to replace the destroyed buildings. The reconstruction period produced many of the landmark buildings that tourists now enjoy. One of these buildings, the Market House, became the city's center of commerce; it was completed in 1833 and featured a Moorish-style architecture. In 1838, the construction of the United States Arsenal was started.

In the 1850s, Fayetteville became the hub of the North Carolina's plank road services. Spanning hundreds of miles, the plank roads connected Fayetteville to other cities and towns throughout North Carolina.

Much of the city was destroyed again during the Civil War. In March 1865, Union troops led by General William Sherman marched into the city and destroyed the Confederate's weapon manufacturing facility, as well as the city's foundries, cotton factories and newspaper offices. During reconstruction, three more schools were built in the city.

The early twentieth century saw the opening of many new establishments and businesses. The city's first skyscraper was built during this period. In 1918, the construction of Camp Bragg northwest of the city began. Camp Bragg and Pope Air Force Base would become the most important economic factor to the growth and development of Fayetteville.

About Fayetteville, North Carolina

Fayetteville is a big cosmopolitan city with a small town feel. This historical city also takes pride in being the home of Fort Bragg, one of the largest military installations in the city. Fayetteville's motto -- "History, Heroes, A Hometown Feeling" - pretty much capture the spirit of the city.

Visitors get to see the life and times of the nation's military heroes at the 82nd Airborne Division War Memorial Museum at Fort Bragg. The museum tells the story of the division's involvement beginning the First World War to the present. The Pope Air Force Base, also at Fort Bragg, displays aircraft replicas and flight stimulators. The Airborne and Special Operations Museum focuses on the beginnings and evolution of American paratroopers from the 1940 to the present.

There are a number of non-military museums in the city. The Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex focuses on the history of Cape Fear Valley from the time of the Native Americans to the 20th century. Inside the complex is the Arsenal Park, the weapons manufacturing site of Confederate troops during the Civil War. The Fascinate-U Children's Museum on Green Street features interactive exhibits, classroom space, and displays that allow children to explore different worlds and play different roles, such as operating a grocery store or deli or performing dental operations. The Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum outlines the evolution and uses of the plank road system that linked Fayetteville to other towns in North Carolina. Built in 1971, the Fayetteville Museum of Art is the first art museum in the state of North Carolina. The museum displays art works of local and regional artists, as well as host educational programs for enhancing art appreciation among the people of Fayetteville and Cumberland County.

Visitors can also get a feel for Fayetteville's spirit and culture by joining the many festivals and special events the city offers. The city hosts over 30 festivals every year; most of these cultural events are held at the Festival Park. In late April, tens and thousands of people gather at downtown Fayetteville to enjoy music, arts, and crafts from local and national artists/ artisans during the three-day Fayetteville Dogwood Hospital. In September, the International Folk Festival is a celebration of the city's multicultural population. The three-day festival features music, food, arts, and crafts from different ethnic groups.

Fans and sports enthusiasts enjoy a variety of sports in Fayetteville. The city supports a number of professional and semi-professional sports teams. The Fayetteville Force plays in the Indoor Football League. Home games are hosted at the Cumberland County Crown Coliseum from March to June. Ice hockey fans cheer on the Fayetteville FireAntz (Souther Professional Hockey League) during home games from October to March, also at the Cumberland County Crown Museum.

About Cumberland County, North Carolina

Cumberland County, the seat of Fayetteville, is located in the Cape Fear Valley of North Carolina. The county consists of eleven townships and has a current population of 302, 963. Founded on February 19, 1745, Fayetteville was formed from parts of Bladen County. It was named for Prince William Augustus Duke, of Cumberland, a British army general. Cumberland County is the home of Fort Bragg and the University of North Carolina.

History: The Siouan Indian people such as Eno, Keyauwee, and Cape Fear Indians inhabited Cape Fear Valley for over 12,000 years. The county remains the home of the Lumbee Tribe.

Cumberland County began as a settlement in the upper region of the Cape Fear Valley between 1729 and 1736. The first settlers were Highland Scots, who established a settlement along the upper Cape Fear River. The area became an important transportation link of different settlements in the valley. In 1730, Campbellton was established as a receiving and distribution center.

In 1754, the Colonial Legislature passed an act, which lead to the forming of Cumberland County from the northern parts of Bladen County. The original county seat was Campbellton. In 1783, the settlements of Cross Creek and Campbellton were merged to form a town they would then name Fayetteville. Fayetteville is the present county seat.

Fayetteville was once a very extensive county. In 1771, parts of Cumberland County were combined with parts of Johnston County and Orange County to create Wake County. In 1784, its western part became Moore County. In 1855, the northern part became Harnett County. In 1911, some parts of Cumberland County became Hoke County. Today, the county occupies a total land area of 658 square miles.

Fort Bragg: Fort Bragg is the highlight of Cumberland County. This 160,700-acre military training facility, located 12 northwest of the city of Fayettesville, is one of the largest in the US. It was established in 1918 as a temporary artillery training ground. The camp was closed in 1921, then reopened in 1922 as a permanent army post. It was named in honor of Confederate General Paxton Bragg. Since its establishment, Fort Bragg has helped boost the economy of Cumberland County. One interesting fact about Fort Bragg is that its base area is the only place where the endangered Saint Francis's Satyr butterflies are known to exist.