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Greenville, North Carolina History

Greenville North Carolina was founded in 1771 when the colony of North Carolina’s leadership granted a Pitt County legislator named Richard Evans permission to turn his plantation into a town. With a history that goes back over 240 years, Greenville has survived everything from fires and wars to reconstruction, depression and urban development.

It started out as a small river village named Martinsborough which remained as such until after the Revolutionary War. Martinsborough was renamed to Greenville by the North Carolina assembly in 1787 in honor of General Nathanial Green. It was not considered notable until the civil war when its position on the Tar river made it a target of importance by both sides and it was repeatedly raided by Union forces before being fortified with earthworks.

During reconstruction, it endured the typical Carpetbag type government as well as riots and killings that added to the regional poverty. The town didn’t begin to significantly expand again until the late 1870s when new homes were being built and businesses began to flourish there.

Viewed as one of the most beautiful and prosperous towns at the time, Greenville’s prosperity came to a sudden halt with the arrival of the Great Depression. With mass closure of businesses and money being tight, the town did not enjoy any form of urban renewal until the 1950s and 60s. As it was before, Greenville is stretching out to meet the current needs of the citizens with regards to its economy culture and recreation. The town has been in both good and bad states many times over its history and always seems to do well at picking itself up and carrying on after a troubled period.  More Here…..

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