|Bladen County, North Carolina is a beautiful area found in the southeastern
Coastal Plains region. Settled by Highland Scots in 1743, Bladen is known as the "Mother of All Counties" because fifty-five counties have been formed from it. Once
North Carolina's largest county, today it stands as the fourth largest, covering some 879 square miles. Over one thousand lakes were found inside the original borders of Bladen County, said to be made by a meteor bombardment 100,000 years ago. Today's county has seven remaining lakes, all of them wonderful recreation areas.
According to Census 2000, Bladen County's population was just over 32,000, with ten different towns and villages. The 1997 Census of Agriculture ranked Bladen County as No. 4 in production of hogs and pigs. Through most of its history, agriculture and livestock were the predominant industries in the area, but that has rapidly changed in the past few decades.
Due to the resident's strong work ethic and commitment to productivity, Bladen County's economy is now supported by forty different successful industries. Opportunities exist in food processing, textiles, chemicals, as well as manufacturing and assembly industries. The
Economic Development Department works hard to create a business-friendly environment. They stand ready to serve incoming firms and many incentives are already in place to attract new corporations. The
Bladen Community College assists in workforce training of the abundant labor source in the area, and maintains a fine reputation for its educational services.
Elizabethtown acts as the county seat, with a population of 3,700. Known for its friendliness, Elizabethtown residents take pleasure in the spectacular
Jones Lake State Park, with a swimming beach, hiking trails and great fishing and boating.
Singletary Lake State Park is nearby in the small town of Kelly, lying within the 36,000-acre Blade Lakes State Forest. The community of
White Lake, with a year-round population of just over 500, but with a tourist population of 200,000 per summer, enjoys the crystal clear waters of the Lake's white sandy bottom. Known as the 'Nation's Safest Beach', with no dangerous currents or tides and total visibility, tourists water-ski, swim, as well as visit the amusement park and a nearby golf course.
The tiny town of
Dublin, with a population of 250, plays host to the annual
Peanut Festival, which includes a golf tournament and a rodeo. The Peanut Festival draws patrons from the huge metropolitan area of
Fayetteville, thirty-five miles to the west, as well as from
Wilmington and other coastal cities, fifty miles to the east. Other towns in Bladen County with less than a thousand residents include: White Oak, Tar Heel, East Arcadia, Butters and Bladenboro.
Bladen County, North Carolina is filled with natural scenic beauty, fertile farmland and hard-working people. As the nearby metropolitan areas begin to spread with their rapid growth, Bladen County is assured a fine and prosperous future.