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Fun Facts About the Region

  • The first gold strike in the U. S. was in Cabarrus County in North Carolina in 1799. The strike was on the farm of John Reed, whose son, Conrad, had found a 17-pound nugget. It was used as a doorstop for three years and then sold to a jeweler for $3.50.
  • During its peak, gold mining was second only to farming in the number of North Carolinians it employed. NC led the nation in gold mining until the California strike of 1848.
  • The richest and deepest gold mine east of the Mississippi is the Randolph shaft in Gold Hill, NC. It is 800 feet deep with a 30-foot sump at the bottom.
  • The Charlotte Region is the hotbed of college basketball, and traditionally places more teams in the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Tournaments than any other region. In 2001, 12 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams from colleges and universities in the Charlotte Region were in the two fields, including the 2001 men's champion, Duke. In the last 11 years, teams from the Charlotte Region have won 6 men's championships (Duke-3, Kentucky-2 and North Carolina-1) and 5 women's championships (Tennessee-4 and North Carolina-1).
  • In the Charlotte region, a person can easily visit the Atlantic Ocean, and the highest point east of the Mississippi, in one day. It is 376 miles from Wrightsville Beach, NC, to Mount Mitchell in the Appalachians.
  • Charlotte claims the highest building in the two Carolinas, the Bank of America building.
  • The first English colony in America was founded on Roanoke Island, NC, in 1585, and the first permanent colony was founded in 1607 in Jamestown, VA.
  • Wilbur and Orville flew their first successful flight at Kitty Hawk, NC, in 1903.
  • Although better known for firing the first shots of the Civil War on Fort Sumter, South Carolina had more battles and skirmishes fought on her land during the Revolutionary War than any other colony. A total of 214 were fought there, leaving the colony 5.5 million dollars in debt, the largest debt of the thirteen colonies.
  • Virginia is the state that claims the most battlefields of the Civil War.
  • SEE ROCK CITY was one of the most successful outdoor advertising campaigns from Michigan to Florida. It’s right there in the Tennessee Mountains.
  • With Memphis and Nashville both in Tennessee, we’re Music Capital of the country.
  • Chattanooga, TN has the world’s largest freshwater aquarium.
  • Charlotte is home to the first jewel in the Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby.
  • The world’s largest cave system, Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park is located in the Charlotte region.
  • Charlotte is home to the birthplace of the nation's first president, George Washington. Abraham Lincoln's birthplace is Sinking Spring Farm, KY, and at least 10 other presidents were born in our region: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, James K. Polk, Zachary Taylor, Woodrow Wilson, Andrew Johnson, and Andrew Jackson.
  • Charlotte is home to the U.S. Bullion Depository in Fort Knox, KY. (Unfortunately, it's closed to the public.)
  • The largest variety of rocks and minerals in the nation is found in this region - over 300 varieties are found in NC alone.
  • Virginia, the Mother of States, dates back to the Virginia Company in 1606. The Proprietary Colony of Carolina was created from Virginia in 1663, and split into North and South in 1729. Kentucky was created from an area ceded by Virginia, and Tennessee was created from an area ceded by North Carolina.
  • The National Bird Dog Museum is in Grand Junction, TN, in Hardeman County.
  • The Venus's-flytrap, a carnivorous plant, lives naturally only in coastal North and South Carolina, while both Brevard, NC, and Kenton, TN, claim to be home to the white squirrel.

Famous North Carolinians


  • Braxton Bragg soldier, Warrenton
  • Robert C. Byrd, politicianNorth Wilkesboro
  • David Brinkley TV newscaster, Wilmington
  • Howard Cosell sportscaster, Winston-Salem
  • Elizabeth Hanford Dole public official, Salisbury
  • James B. Duke industrialist, Durham
  • Donna Fargo country music, Mount Airy
  • Roberta Flack singer, Black Mountain
  • Ava Gardner actress, Smithfield
  • Richard Gatling inventor, Hertford County
  • Billy Graham evangelist, Charlotte
  • Kathryn Grayson singer, actress, Winston-Salem
  • Andy Griffith actor, Mount Airy
  • Jesse Helms politician, Monroe
  • O. Henry writer, Greensboro
  • Andrew Johnson U.S. president, Raleigh
  • Charles Kuralt TV journalist, Wilmington
  • Dolley Payne Madison first lady, Guliford County
  • Ronni Milsap country music singer, Robinsville
  • Thelonious Monk pianist, Rocky Mount
  • Edward R. Murrow commentator, Greensboro
  • Floyd Patterson boxer, Waco
  • Richard Petty auto racer, Level Cross
  • James K. Polk U.S. president, Mechlenburg
  • William Sydney Porter author, Greensboro
  • Soupy Sales comedian, Wake Forest
  • Earl Scruggs bluegrass musician, Flint Hill
  • Randy Travis musician, Charlotte
  • John Scott Trotter orchestra leader, Charlotte
  • Thomas Clayton Wolfe author, Asheville

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