Reidsville, North Carolina

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Reidsville is a city located in Rockingham County, North Carolina. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 14,485.

Originally established in the early 19th century as an outpost and stop on the stage line that ran between Salisbury, NC and Danville, VA called Wrights Crossroads, the Reidsville community grew from a single home and Inn owned by the family of Reuben Reid (a local farmer, businessman, and justice of the peace who was the father of David S. Reid) into a thriving farming community primarily supporting tobacco production and cigarette manufacturing. Reidsville was officially incorporated by the North Carolina State Legislature in 1873 and became a key location of the American Tobacco Company which employed large numbers of city and county residents. The American Tobacco Company was the mainstay of Reidsville economics until its sale and closure in 1994. Many textile mills were established in Reidsville as well, with Cone Mills and Burlington Industries consolidating most of them in the mid-20th century, though most have now closed. Although Reidsville has experienced economic recession in recent years the community has enjoyed a renewal of growth as a sleeper city supplying a source of rural development for the surrounding larger cities.

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Geography

Reidsville is located at 36°20'43" North, 79°40'30" West (36.345347, -79.675094)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.9 square miles (38.6 km²), of which, 13.4 square miles (34.6 km²) of it is land and 1.5 square miles (3.9 km²) of it is water. The total area is 10.14% water.

History

The early roots of Reidsville, incorporated in 1873 by the State Legislature, date back to the early 19th century when William Wright of the Little Troublesome Creek area owned a tavern and store on the road connecting Danville, Va. and Salem. This outpost, called Wright’s Cross Roads, was the earliest settlement in the present-day city and was overseen by Wright’s son, Nathan, and then Nathan Wright’s son-in-law, Robert Payne Richardson. Richardson’s home, built in 1842 on a knoll overlooking Little Troublesome Creek, still remains on Richardson Drive and has the distinction of being the oldest standing house in the city. Governor David Reid's House is the current home of the Reidsville Chamber of Commerce.

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