Not because of NASCAR. Not because of BBQ allegiance. But the rectification of a 1735 land surveillance will force part of South Carolina to join North Carolina.
How the hell did this happen and how’d it take 281 years to settle?
In 1735, King George II sent a group of surveyors to map the border between his Carolina
colonies. The border was to start 30 miles south of Cape Fear River and head northwest to the 35th parallel, and then turn west. Just follow the position of the sun, leave some hatchet marks on the border-separating trees, badabing, you got a border. Seems simple enough.
Well, that didn’t happen. South Carolina’s team never got paid, so they bailed after 40 miles. North Carolina’s team gave one big, “Fuck it, good enough,” 12 miles short of the 35th parallel, leaving 660 square miles of North Carolina land to South Carolina.
Now, you’d think someone would notice this mistake. Nope. It wasn’t until 1993 that the two states decided to settle the border dispute. Of course, settling the dispute would prove to be harder than simply mapping the King’s proposed border with a GPS. Why? Because people live here now.
As of right now, 19 households will move to the other state, and the new border will cross
through some 54 homes and businesses, according to the Associated Press. Each citizen has a year to “claim” a state, which could result in new licenses, taxes, health care provisions and even business standards—if you want to talk about certain North Carolina laws.
They say, probably, you can take the Tar Heel about of the Palmetto, but you can’t take the Palmetto out of the Tar Heel. Let’s see if this rings true.
Tom is a travel writer, part-time hitchhiker, and he’s currently trying to imitate Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? but with more sunscreen and jorts.