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During the Civil War, North Carolina was the second to last state to secede from the Union, doing so on May 20, 1861, and sending more soldiers to fight for the Confederacy than any other state.
Surry County, located in the rolling hills of North Carolina's Piedmont region, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The area was once home to the indigenous Saura and Cheraw tribes, who relied on the fertile land along the banks of the Yadkin River for sustenance. The arrival of European settlers in the 18th century brought significant changes to the region.

In the mid-1700s, Surry County was established as a part of Rowan County. The town of Surry Court House, later renamed Rockford, became the county seat. The county played a crucial role during the American Revolutionary War, with many residents supporting the cause for independence. The Battle of Shallow Ford, fought in present-day Yadkin County but involving many Surry County militiamen, was a notable conflict of the war.

With the emergence of the railroad in the 19th century, Surry County experienced economic growth and development. The towns of Mount Airy, Dobson, and Elkin became vital hubs for trade and transportation. Furniture manufacturing, textile mills, and tobacco farming flourished, driving the local economy. Mount Airy's Granite Quarry, one of the world's largest open-faced granite quarries, also played a significant role in the county's economic development.

Surry County is also known for its association with the iconic American television show, "The Andy Griffith Show." Andy Griffith, the show's creator and star, was born in Mount Airy and drew inspiration from his experiences growing up in the area. Mount Airy, which is often referred to as the "real" Mayberry, pays tribute to the show with various tourist attractions, including the Andy Griffith Museum and the Mayberry Squad Car Tours.

Today, Surry County continues to thrive as a blend of agricultural, industrial, and tourist activities. It proudly embraces its past while embracing progress and growth for the future. With its natural beauty, charming small towns, and vibrant community spirit, Surry County remains a beloved part of North Carolina's history and culture.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Surry County, North Carolina.

  • 1771 - Surry County is established as a county in the state of North Carolina
  • 1777 - The county's first courthouse is constructed in Rockford
  • 1790 - The county seat is moved to Dobson
  • 1836 - The town of Mount Airy is incorporated
  • 1851 - The first railroad, the Richmond and Danville Railroad, is completed in the county
  • 1893 - The Southern Railway opens a depot in Mount Airy, boosting the town's economy
  • 1934 - The Granite Corporation quarry, now known as North Carolina Granite Corporation, is established in Mount Airy
  • 1990s - The television series "The Andy Griffith Show" brings fame to Mount Airy, known as the inspiration for the fictional town of Mayberry