Eden, North Carolina
—  City  —
Motto: Land of Two Rivers
Location of Eden, North Carolina
Coordinates: 36°30′23″N 79°44′42″W / 36.50639, -79.745Coordinates: 36°30′23″N 79°44′42″W / 36.50639, -79.745
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Rockingham
 • Total 15.2 sq mi (39.3 km2)
 • Land 15.0 sq mi (38.9 km2)
 • Water 0.2 sq mi (0.4 km2)
Elevation 591 ft (180 m)
Population (2000)
 • Total 15,908
 • Density 1,060.1/sq mi (409.3/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 27288-27289
Area code(s) 336
FIPS code 37-20080[1]
GNIS feature ID 0984623[2]

Leaksville (now Eden) station of Danville and Western Railroad, 1912

Eden is a city in Rockingham County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 15,908 at the 2000 census. The city was incorporated in 1967 through the consolidation of three separate towns: Leaksville, Spray, and Draper.

Several small historic downtown areas have opened up, such as the "Olde Leaksville" shopping district, in an effort to bring tourists to the city.

The city's motto is "The Land of Two Rivers" [1].


Eden is located at 36°30′23″N 79°44′42″W / 36.50639, -79.745 (36.506434, -79.745092)[3]. The Smith and the Dan river have their confluence on the south side of Eden. The Dan River flows along Eden's southern border while the Smith river flows from the north bisecting the city on its route to meet the Dan River.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.2 square miles (39.3 km²), of which, 15.0 square miles (38.9 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.4 km²) of it (1.12%) is water.


Eden was a 70,000-acre (280 km2) estate owned by William Byrd II, a planter of Virginia and North Carolina. The estate was originally called "The Land of Eden"

In the last years of William Byrd II's life he dreamed of bringing large numbers of Swiss Protestants to the Land of Eden, Which eventually included over 100,000 acres (400 km2) in Virginia. He visualized an industrious, self-sufficient colony that would thrive on the abundance of the frontier. Byrd's dream was not to be realized. After years of negotiations, at least one boatload of Swiss did sail from Europe but they were shipwrecked in a December gale off the coast of Virginia and none of the few survivors are believed to have reached Eden. Byrd died August 26, 1744 as the Land of Eden began to be surrounded by the settlement of Scotch-Irish whom Byrd had compared to the "Goths and Vandals."

Eden descended to William Byrd III who shared none of his father's dreams of colonization. Young Byrd married Elizabeth Hill Carter in 1748. He sought to dispose of Eden to gain cash to support his grand lifestyle. He was finally successful on November 8, 1755 when he sold 26,000 acres (105 km2) in North Carolina to two merchant brothers from the island of Antigua, Simon and Francis Farley. By this time settlement was increasing at a considerable pace. The Farley brothers attempted to create plantations on some of the richest acres but more frequently settlers simply moved onto the land and created homesteads. In 1762 James Parke Farley, son of Francis Farley, went to Williamsburg to attend the College of William and Mary and soon after married Elizabeth Hill Byrd, daughter of William Byrd III and Elizabeth Hill Carter.

Many later settlers migrating to the Dan River Area knew little of William Byrd. They were familiar with an old Indian Village in the area near Town Creek and the Farley holdings. This location became the center of settlement, and the 26,000 acres (105 km2) came to be called the Sauratown tract. In 1775, James Parke Farley and his new bride moved from cosmopolitan Williamsburg, Virginia to the Sauratown. He claimed that Sauratown was his, created new plantations, and attempted to drive off the squatters. He built a home overlooking the Dan River. Farley was also a member of the 3rd Provincial Congress that met at Hillsboro. In 1776, the family left the Sauratown, partly due to Elizabeth Farley's father suicide, and perhaps her dislike of frontier atmosphere. James Parke Farley was killed during the Revolutionary War leaving his wife and four daughters to fend for themselves, and Sauratown was unmanaged. Farley's Widow married Reverend John Dunbar, who attempted to manage Sauratown, but failed. Finally, the Governor became involved in settling the legal interests of the Farley heirs. The 26,000 acres (105 km2), became a magnet for settlement due to its proximity to the Petersburg-Salem road that crossed the Smith River at an island ford. In 1795, the town of Leaksville was established on the southwest edge of the Sauratown along the main road. Joseph Cloud resurveyed the tract and divided it into two equal shares in 1798. A year later, Farley's daughters Maria Farley and Rebecca Parke Farley sold their shares to Patrick Henry of Virginia, the man who delivered the "Give me Liberty or give me death" speech. Henry, on his deathbed June 6, 1799, gave the land to two of his sons, Alexander Spottswood Henry and Nathaniel West Henry. In the century that Sauratown was in existence many still prominent families settled in the Land of Eden, including the Brodnax, Dillard, Ruffin, Morehead, Henry, and Winston families. Many Scots also settled in the area, including the Gallaway, Scales, Watt, Lenox, Campbell, and Moir families. Some other famous peoples known to have lived in the county include General Lighthorse Harry Lee, Wiley Jones, and General John Simon Farley (British).


The settlement of Eden cannot be considered without examining the impact of slavery. The common roots of a significant number of black families in Eden, and in the entire county, can be traced back to a large influx that occurred just prior to the revolution. On June 20, 1775 the Moravians in their diary, noted that James Parke Farley had located on his plantation on the Dan River, "100 negroes whom he bought from Antigua." Farley's father and uncle were both Antiguan merchants who had bought the 26,000 acres (105 km2) from William Byrd III. After Farley's death during the war, few records survived, little is known about the lives of the these first, local slaves. It is possible that they remained and that they are the ancestors of a large part of the local black population. Aside from the Farleys, the Scales and Galloway families also were affluent enough to own slaves, and are known to have had slaves in the area prior to the revolution.

Major industry[]

  • Miller Brewing Company


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 15,908 people, 6,644 households, and 4,371 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,060.1 people per square mile (409.2/km²). There were 7,368 housing units at an average density of 491.0 per square mile (189.5/km²). The racial composition of the city was: 75.43% White, 22.15% Black or African American, 2.34% Hispanic or Latino American, 0.31% Asian American, 0.21% Native American, 0.06% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, 1.03% some other race, and 0.81% two or more races.

There were 6,644 households out of which 28.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.0% were married couples living together, 16.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.2% were non-families. 31.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.1% 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 2.90.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.1% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, and 19.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 85.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,670, and the median income for a family was $35,259. Males had a median income of $29,443 versus $21,797 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,275. About 13.9% of families and 17.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.6% of those under age 18 and 16.6% of those age 65 or over.

Eden boasts an average of 8 churches per square mile.


External links[]

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Eden, North Carolina. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.