A History of Richlands, North Carolina

For an apparently thriving town that continues to this day, there is very little information - particularly historical information - currently available pertaining to the creation and progress from inception until the present about the town of Richlands in Onslow County, North Carolina.

In looking at maps of North Carolina that were produced prior to 1800, Richland Chapel is clearly shown in northwest Onslow County. Soon after 1800, the maps indicate that there was a name change - to Richlands - but the location remained the same.

Research of US Post Office Department records reveals that Richland Chapel was granted a Post Office on May 28, 1796, and the first Postmaster was Mr. Daniel Miller. On January 1, 1806, Richland Chapel was officially changed to Richlands, with a new Postmaster named Mr. Arthur B. Gregory. This PO has been in continuous operation since inception, and was still open in 1971 when the Post Office records end.

From this scant information, one can conclude that at least a small village or hamlet grew up around a church in the 1790s, perhaps much earlier. This town grew, probably had the typical growth problems, Civil War issues, etc. But, until more info becomes available, all of this will simply have to come from your imagination. The following is the ONLY tidbit currently found (in 2007) pertaining to the current state of affairs in Richlands:

"Richlands emerged as an agricultural center and became the site of the first graded school, the first public high school and the first library in the county. Today, Richlands is the home of the Onslow County Museum which features changing exhibits reflecting the history of the area."


Since the above was first written, this Author has found a new website online about the town of Richlands, NC. There is a link to the "Learn about Richlands History" webpage, and that page provides about ten bullets about its history then links you from the last bullet to the Chamber of Commerce. The home page for the town of Richlands has a crest showing two years - 1738 and 1880. Later you learn that the town was officially incorporated in 1880, so one is led to believe that "Richland Chapel" apparently began in 1738, but nowhere in the site is this date explained. Oh well. Obtaining decent histories is not always an easy task.


© 2007 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved