North Carolina’s Piedmont Region Facts
Covering nearly one half of North Carolina in the central part of the state, the Piedmont is an area of gently rolling foothills with the occasional boulder or unexpected rock outcropping. The Piedmont region boasts of one of the most dynamic economies in the United States and is home to the state’s largest cities and biggest financial institutions. Renowned research universities, textile and furniture factories, tobacco farms, shopping meccas, top golf courses and abundant historic sites are also part of the makeup of the North Carolina Piedmont.
- During the Civil War, the Confederate Naval Yard was moved to central North Carolina from Virginia to ensure its safety from Union troops. Although Charlotte is in the middle of the state, hundreds of miles away from the coast, the city was considered a safe place for the Naval Yard.
- The North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, the first state-owned art museum in the United States, contains one of the most distinguished collections of Old Masters in the South. As the museum is publicly owned, this collection belongs to the citizens of North Carolina.
- North Carolinian Hinton James was one of the earliest Tar Heel travelers. In the late 1700s, he traveled from Wilmington to Chapel Hill, on foot, to become the first student at the nation's first state-chartered university, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
- Old Salem is a restored 18th-century Moravian congregation town that depicts life in the original town of Salem, North Carolina. Founded in 1753, Salem was among the first towns in America to have a public water system, a fire department and a school for girls.
- Discovery Place, located in Charlotte, is the largest museum of science and technology in North Carolina and one of the country's major science centers. Also located in the same complex is the country's largest planetarium, the Kelly Space Voyage Planetarium.
- The Spencer Shops Roundhouse, located in Salisbury on the site of what was once South Railway Company's largest steam locomotive servicing facility, is the largest such building in the United States. The Roundhouse is a C-shaped structure used to repair, house and switch steam locomotives.
- The North Carolina Transportation Museum, located at Historic Spencer Shops in Salisbury, is the South's largest transportation museum, with exhibits of all means of transportation, from dugout canoes to massive steam locomotives.
- The North Carolina Zoo near Asheboro is the nation's largest walk-through, natural-habitat zoo and was the first American zoo designed from its inception around the natural-habitat philosophy.
- Putt-Putt Golf was invented in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
added: December 17, 2008
updated: January 8, 2009
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