Carthage history begins as Moore County was created, with the division of
Cumberland County, and was officially recognized by the North Carolina
Legislature on July 4th in 1784. However, the problem was that there wasn’t
an incorporated town to serve as the county seat, and there wasn’t a spot in
which to hold court.
A committee was appointed by the Legislature to come up with a site for
the new county seat and a site was chosen close to the center of the county.
The identity bounced between Faginsville and
Carthage, but was officially
changed by the State Legislature in 1814. The first courthouse was
constructed in 1785, until that time court was being held in Kenchion
Kitchen’s home as well as the homes of the other area residents. The new
courthouse was described as “a rather crude log building, small in size”.
The town was not laid out until 1803 and Carthage did not become official
In 1814 the Moore county courthouse was moved to the current location of the historic
courthouse at the intersection of the main avenues of Carthage. In 1820, the
courthouse was replaced by a two-story wooden structure, with a space
beneath to be used as a marketplace.
In 1840, a two-story brick
courthouse was built with four offices on the ground floor and a courtroom on the
second floor. There was also a jail cell in the courtroom that allowed the
prisoners to be conveniently available to the judge. On September 5th, 1889
the brick courthouse burned and over 100 years of county records and
Carthage history were destroyed including the 1889 tax books and records.
Because of a floor collapse and several fires the courthouse was replaced
five times. A bond was passed on January 16th, 1922 that allowed $150,000
for the construction of our fifth and current historical courthouse. In
August the cornerstone was laid, the courthouse was constructed entirely of
Indiana Limestone and was dedicated on September 17th, 1923.
courthouse was finished it was described as “crowning the dominating ridge,
visible against the blue haze of the pines over the rolling Sandhills
country”. The sixth County courthouse and government building was erected
across the street, leaving the historic fifth courthouse in the circle.
Today both the fifth and the sixth courthouses serve as government offices
and court facilities.
In 1855 Alexander Kelly and Thomas Tyson founded the Tyson Jones Buggy
Factory. They made the “Cadillac” of the horse-drawn buggy. The factory
brought prosperity to Carthage and was a major contributor to
Carthage history. The buggy-manufacturing factory reached its
peak in 1890, turning out about 3000 vehicles a year. The growth in Carthage
from the 1850’s to the 1920’s was due to the successful buggy manufacturing
industry. Unfortunately, the invention of the automobile spelled doom for
the buggy company.
The Buggy Festival is held each year to honor
Carthage history and the town’s
heritage as home of one of the world’s former foremost carriage makers.
Started in 1988, the Carthage Buggy Festival is a celebration of the rich
history of Carthage, North Carolina. The Buggy Festival is held each year to
commemorate the famous Tyson and Jones Buggy Factory that, from the
mid-1800's to the 1920's, produced the carriages that were essential to life
in rural North Carolina. There is only one building remaining of the famed factory that flourished in Carthage until after World War I. A fire
destroyed one building in 1905, and in 1976 the largest fire in the town's
history claimed a small section of the remaining building.
On Friday evening May 7th and Saturday May 8th, 2010, the 21st Annual
Carthage Buggy Festival will be held in Carthage, located eight miles north
of Pinehurst in the Sandhills region of North Carolina, and it promises to
be the biggest and best yet. With an annual attendance of 15,000, the Buggy
Festival has grown into one of the biggest and best known festivals in the
region. It's a great excuse to come explore the town and the area.
The town of Carthage boasts some 1800 residents and the National Historic
District of Carthage is proud to have over 50 buildings and residences of
historical significance. Carthage is one of the fastest growing towns in our
County, with an 80% population increase from 1990 to 1998. It's the perfect
small town community with tons of affordable
options as well.
Does your family have ties to Carthage history? tell us about it
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