Pittsboro, North Carolina
is a town located in Chatham County
Chatham County is a county located in the Piedmont area of the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of 2000, the population was 49,329. Its county seat is Pittsboro.-History:...
, 34 miles southwest of Raleigh
Raleigh is the capital and the second largest city in the state of North Carolina as well as the seat of Wake County. Raleigh is known as the "City of Oaks" for its many oak trees. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city's 2010 population was 403,892, over an area of , making Raleigh...
, 47 miles southeast of Greensboro
Greensboro is a city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is the third-largest city by population in North Carolina and the largest city in Guilford County and the surrounding Piedmont Triad metropolitan region. According to the 2010 U.S...
, and 17 miles south of Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill is a town in Orange County, North Carolina, United States and the home of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and UNC Health Care...
. The population was 3,743 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....
of Chatham County.
Pittsboro was established as a town in 1785. The Chatham County Court House stood on land belonging to Miles Scurlock; however, in 1787, the legislature declared that a town could not be established on Scurlock's land. The town's trustees instead purchased adjacent land belonging to William Petty and laid out the town. That same year, Pittsboro was officially named the county seat. Although Chatham County is named for William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham
William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham PC was a British Whig statesman who led Britain during the Seven Years' War...
, Pittsboro is named for his son, William Pitt the Younger
William Pitt the Younger was a British politician of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He became the youngest Prime Minister in 1783 at the age of 24 . He left office in 1801, but was Prime Minister again from 1804 until his death in 1806...
Pittsboro was once considered as a potential site for both the University of North Carolina
Chartered in 1789, the University of North Carolina was one of the first public universities in the United States and the only one to graduate students in the eighteenth century...
and the state capitol. UNC was eventually sited in Chapel Hill, while the state capitol was located approximately 34 miles to the northeast of Pittsboro, in Raleigh.
Charles M. Stedman, the last Civil War veteran to serve in Congress, was born in Pittsboro on January 29, 1841.
- Mayor: Randy Voller
- Commissioners: Pamela Baldwin, Gene Brooks, Clinton Bryan III, Hugh Harrington, Michael A Fiocco
The town is served by four local schools; Pittsboro Elementary School, Horton Middle School, Northwood High School
Northwood High School is located in Pittsboro, North Carolina, In Chatham County. The school is the largest of three high schools in Chatham County and is operated by Chatham County Schools. The school's mascot is the Charger and the school colors are gold and green. It is a member of the Mid State...
, and Central Carolina Community College (CCCC), Chatham County Campus.
- Chatham Journal (weekly, based in Pittsboro)
- The Chatham News (daily, based in Siler City)
- The Chatham Record (daily, based Pittsboro)
WTVD, channel 11, is an owned-and-operated television station of the Walt Disney Company-owned American Broadcasting Company, licensed to Durham, North Carolina. The station serves the areas of Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Fayetteville, known as the Triangle...
WRAL-TV, virtual channel 5 , is a television station in Raleigh, North Carolina. WRAL-TV has been the flagship station of Capitol Broadcasting Company since its inception, and is currently the CBS affiliate for the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill/Fayetteville area, known collectively as the Triangle...
WGHP, channel 8, is the Fox-affiliated television station serving the Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem, North Carolina designated market area...
WNCN is the NBC affiliate television station in the Triangle region of North Carolina , broadcasting on digital channel 17. It is licensed to Goldsboro, but its studios are just outside of downtown Raleigh...
Pittsboro is located at 35°43′13"N 79°10′35"W (35.720332, -79.176393).
According to the United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...
, the town has a total area of 3.4 square miles (8.8 km²), of which, 3.4 square miles (8.8 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square mile (0.1035995244 km²) of it (0.89 percent) is water.
Pittsboro is located twelve miles from Chapel Hill and the University of North Carolina, twenty-five miles from Durham, Duke and NC Central Universities, and thirty five miles from Raleigh, the state capital, NC State University, Meredith and Peace Colleges. At the geographic center of the state, it is one hundred fifty miles from Wilmington at the coast and the same from Boone in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Jordan Lake is five miles east, providing recreation, fishing, boating and scenic panoramas. The lake is fourteen thousand acres of surface and provides water for Raleigh and the town of Cary.
As of the census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...
of 2000, there were 2,226 people, 855 households, and 535 families residing in the town. The population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...
was 663.1 people per square mile (255.8/km²). There were 939 housing units at an average density of 279.7 per square mile (107.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 64.38 percent White, 27.54 percent African American, 0.49 percent Native American, 0.67 percent Asian, 0.04 percent Pacific Islander, 4.99 percent from other races
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...
, and 1.89 percent from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.81 percent of the population.
There were 855 households out of which 29.0 percent had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.9 percent were married couples
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...
living together, 18.7 percent had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.4 percent were non-families. 32.3 percent of all households were made up of individuals and 12.7 percent had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.97.
In the town the population was spread out with 22.9% under the age of 18, 7.3 percent from 18 to 24, 28.7 percent from 25 to 44, 19.6 percent from 45 to 64, and 21.5 percent who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 80.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.0 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $35,800, and the median income for a family was $42,391. Males had a median income of $29,500 versus $26,719 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...
for the town was $16,863. About 19.2 percent of families and 18.3 percent of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.3 percent of those under age 18 and 13.7 percent of those age 65 or over.
Once home to textiles, the largest clothing label mill in the world, and poultry, it now depends on commuter income, retail stores and a developing business in genetics. Housing developments provide relief from loss of industry as the town adjusts to a new economy.
The water supply is abundant, derived from the Haw River and, in the future, Jordan Lake. In 2010, the wastewater allotment was expanded. Being fifteen and twenty-five miles from major power plants, the supply of power is plentiful. Major corridor highways, US 15-501 and US 64, a four lane divided highway, intersect there.
Pittsboro is home to the Chatham county government and many non-profit agencies.
- American Livestock Breeds Conservancy
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy is a nonprofit organization focused on preserving and promoting genetic diversity among rare breeds of livestock...
- Chatham County Arts Council
- Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association is the leading organic farm-advocacy and organic certifier for North and South Carolina. It is also called CFSA...
- Rural Advancement Fund
and other social service organizations.
Local currency: the PLENTY
Some citizens of Pittsboro have revitalized a local form of currency called the PLENTY
The PLENTY is a local currency used and accepted in Pittsboro, North Carolina by a growing number of businesses for goods and services. The currency is managed by the PLENTY Currency Cooperative Corporation and is backed by Capital Bank at with United States dollars, 10 Plentys may be purchased...
. It was created in 2002. In 2009, it was being exchanged at a local bank at the rate of $9 for every $10 of PLENTY. Local resident Lyle Estill
Lyle Estill is the author of Small is Possible; life in a local economy, and Biodiesel Power; the passion, the people, and the politics of the next renewable fuel....
, president of a Pittsboro company named Piedmont Biofuels, which accepts the PLENTY, told USA Today that: "We're a wiped-out small town in America. This will strengthen the local economy ... The nice thing about the PLENTY is that it can't leave here." Estill claims to have been misquoted, but regardless, the article brought Pittsboro into the spotlight of national and international media.
Chatham County Courthouse fire
On March 25, 2010, the Chatham County Courthouse (pictured above), while undergoing a $415,000 exterior renovation, caught fire. Smoke was first reported in the area around 4:15 p.m.; the fire was dispatched to the Pittsboro Fire Department around 4:45 p.m. By 5 p.m., smoke was reported to be rising from out of the clock tower, which was surrounded by scaffolds. The building was evacuated safely.
The building suffered severe damage to the clock tower and the third floor. It was reported that the fire had destroyed all the computers and records, but that there are offsite copies and the information should be recoverable.
On March 26, 2010, at approximately 1:30 a.m., the clock tower collapsed onto the main building, however the building as whole was only damaged on the second floor, and only had water and smoke damage throughout the rest of the building. Overall 11 fire departments participated in the fire efforts.
The fire marshal's investigation into the fire, determined that it was caused by a lit soldering torch that fell onto some wood, which in turn, started a small fire. Workers attempted to extinguish the blaze, but were unsuccessful in their efforts. On Wednesday, March 31, 2010, the Chatham County Commissioners voted in favor of rebuilding the courthouse.