A History of Rockingham, North Carolina

Rockingham City Hall

The county seat of Richmond County was first called Richmond Court House. In 1784, a town was established at this court house by the name of Rockingham, which has been the only county seat for Richmond County.


On April 1, 1785, the three duly appointed commissioners - former Brigadier General (Pro Tempore) Henry William Harrington, John Cole Sr., and Robert Webb, met and bought eighteen acres of land from John James, Sr. for about $30, and 32 acres from John Cole for $50. This land was situated on the road that ran from the mountains to Cross Creek (now Fayetteville). The land was bounded by Falling Creek on the south, and Hitchcock Creek on the north and west, a constricted area.

The city of Rockingham was named for the 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, Charles Watson Wentworth, a strong friend of the colonies, who was the English Prime Minister in 1765. He was in bitter opposition to Lord North and the policy that lost America. He again became a Prime Minister in 1782, dying that year at the age of 52.


Founded in 1784 as the official county seat, Rockingham historically has been the center of commerce in Richmond County. The city and the surrounding area abounds in "places to go" and "things to do." An All-American City, Rockingham has continued to promote its historic and cultural past. With significant scenic and natural areas, including the Pee Dee River & National Wildlife Refuge, Sandhills Game Management Area, and Blewett Falls Lake, outdoor activities are endless.

The Rockingham Speedway and Rockingham Dragway offer year-round events that bring thousands of folks to our area. Both are just five minutes from downtown.

Other nearby attractions include the Rankin Museum of American Heritage, The National Railroad Museum & Hall of Fame, the NC Zoo, Seagrove Potteries, The Uwharrie National Forest, and Pinehurst, home of the world's finest golf facilities.


Rockingham was granted a US Post Office on January 1, 1795, and its first Postmaster was Mr. Toddy Robinson. It has been in continuous operation ever since.


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