Area Information


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Duplin County was created in 1750 from the northern part of New Hanover County. It was named for Sir Thomas Hays, Lord Dupplin, a member of the Board of Trade and Plantations for the Crown in the 1740s.

Early settlers included the Welsh, Germans, Swiss, French Huguenots, English and Scottish Highlanders. Settlements in the beginning years were primarily located along the river and larger creeks, the best means of transportation.

Henry McCulloch, a wealthy London merchant, arrived in 1736 to settle 71,160 acres granted to him by the British Crown. He established several settlements. Sarecta, on the east bank of the Northeast Cape Fear River, became Duplin's first incorporated town in 1787. Another settlement was established on the west side of the river in Goshen Swamp. A third, originally referred to as Golden Grove, became the town of Kenansville.

The early settlers were primarily Presbyterians. They established the Goshen congregation in 1736, later to be called the Grove congregation. Still active today, it is the oldest Presbyterian congregation in the state.


The first official county court was held in Duplin County in 1751. The first courthouse was built on Turkey Swamp, near the Duplin/Sampson county line a short time later. The creation of Sampson County from the western half of Duplin County in 1784 caused the courthouse to move to a more central location, later to be known as Kenansville. The deciding factor is said to be a spring, still flowing today, which provided good water.

Among many area attractions is Liberty Hall, the restored antebellum home of the Kenan family. The beautifully restored home of the Kenan family, Liberty Hall stands as a reminder of the antebellum South - representative of the wealthy plantation owner lifestyle of the period. The Kenan family has a long, rich history in the founding and development of Duplin County and North Carolina.

Duplin County offers 5 country clubs and several golf courses around the county for relaxation. Duplin County's prestigious River Landing offers an 18-hole championship layout.


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Cabin Lake Recreation Park is a 130-acre recreation area with a 68-acre lake providing fishing, boating, canoeing, paddle boating and swimming. Located 5 miles north of Beulaville, it also offers camping, hiking, picnicking and a nature trail around the lake.

Swimming pools, tennis courts, an amphitheater, 9 public municipal parks, hunting, numerous other outdoor activities and various festivals are all part of Duplin County's recreational offerings. Duplin's Parks and Recreation Department also offers diverse activities.

Cowan Museum features several thousand rare and unusual artifacts depicting the early rural heritage of North Carolina and Duplin County. Woodworking tools, early farm implements, household utensils and many long-forgotten intriguing items are displayed in the restored 1848 Kelly-Farrior home. On the grounds are a one-room log schoolhouse, a furnished log cabin, 10-foot diameter cart wheels, a blacksmith shop and a log tobacco barn.


Duplin County Veterans Memorial Museum has been established in the historic L.P. Best house. Since 1921, Warsaw has celebrated Veterans Day, earning the distinction of being the home of the oldest continuous Veterans Day celebration in the nation. To honor all veterans and to recognize Warsaw's Veterans Day celebration (and other Veterans Day celebrations), the Veterans Memorial Museum was established.

Located in Rose Hill, Duplin Winery offers the very best dinner show on the East Coast with a stage show, music and comedy from Broadway, country, to rock and roll. Delicious Southern muscadine wines and Southern hospitality are always on the menu.

Kenan Memorial Auditorium and William Rand Kenan Jr. Memorial Amphitheater, both located in Kenansville, offer various types of entertainment throughout the year.

The World's Largest Frying Pan is another attraction in Rose Hill. The two-ton, 15-foot pan is located in the town square.

Duplin County offers 8 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, 4 high schools and James Sprunt Community College. Within 1.5 hours are 12 colleges and universities. The University of North Carolina at Wilmington, East Carolina University, Fayetteville State University, Campbell University, Methodist College and Mt. Olive College are all within an hour's drive of Duplin.

Duplin General Hospital provides primary and specialty health care. It offers skilled nursing and psychiatric services, 101 beds, outpatient treatment, same-day surgery and emergency services.




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