Circles on the map, Circle Towns or Round Towns

Circle Towns: One of my childhood map memories is the distinctively circular shape of Shelby, NC, on the state’s official highway map:

Shelby is a circle on NC highway map

Shelby on 1970 NC Highway map, courtesy of North Carolina State Archives

Shelby was not an anomaly; there were quite a few North Carolina towns whose limits were originally prescribed by a perfect circle. Continue reading

Niagara falls in North Carolina

Perhaps varying in rate but seemingly unending is the migration of northerners to The Old North State, a process that led to the development of Pinehurst and Southern Pines in the late 19th century, and the population explosion in the late 20th century of the town of Cary (resulting in the acronym CARY = Containment Area for Relocated Yankees). Not all the land speculation schemes resulted in great success. An example of one that did not is Niagara, North Carolina. Continue reading

Cartographic Trophy from the War

The earliest engraved North Carolina town plan is that of New Bern by Jonathan Price. The map was engraved by the local silversmith, Allen Fitch, who advertised it “ready for delivery” as early as the August 30, 1817, issue of the Carolina Federal Republican (New Bern, NC).

Image from microfilm in the North Carolina Division of Archives and History, Raleigh, NC.

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