Duplin County was
first form the northern part of New Hanover County by the Assembly in New Bern
on April 7, 1750. It was named for Thomas Hay, Viscount Dupplin, later 9th Earl
of Kinnoull, who served on the Board of Trade and Plantations for the Crown in
the 1740's. The early settlers of Duplin County where the were the Welsh who arrived
in the 1700's. The German Palatines and the Swiss followed in in 1730's and 1740's.
The Scotch-Irish arrived in 1736. Other settlers such as the French Huguenots
and English migrated from Virginia, amongst the wave of migration came the Scottish
Highlanders from the upper Cape Fear region, and African-Americans. At that time
the boundaries of Duplin County included what would eventually become Sampson
County. The early settlements were primarily along the river and larger creeks
as these were the best means of transportation.
The establishment of several settlements occurred when Henry McCulloch had
transported Ulster Scots and Swiss Protestants to settle the area. In 1787,
Sarecta located on the east bank of the Northeast Cape Fear River was incorporated
as a town. In 1751, the first official county court was held in the home of
William McRee. A short time later the first courthouse was built on Turkey Swamp
near the present day Duplin/Sampson County line. When Sampson County was created
in 1784 from the western half of Duplin County, the courthouse was relocated
again to a more central location.
Henry McCulloch, who had transported Ulster Scots and Swiss Protestants to
settle this area, established several settlements. One on the east bank of the
Northeast Cape Fear River named Sarecta, became Duplin's first incorporated
town in 1787. The naval stores industry became one of the first in the county.
The harvesting of rosin provided barter and income for the early settlers and
remained a significant part of the economy up until the late 1800's. Large log
rafts transported the naval stores products through the Northeast Cape Fear
River for sale in Wilmington. In 1840, the completion of the Wilmington and
Weldon Railroad brought forth additional opportunities for growth and a tremendous
influence for further development. The Towns of Wallace, Teachey, Rose Hill,
Magnolia, Warsaw, Faison and Calypso developed along the tracks. Today, Duplin
County has maintained its agricultural heritage and rural environment through
the years while still allowing for a blending with industrial development, economic
growth and an enviable lifestyle.