Greenville NC History

In 1771, Greenville was founded under the name Martinsborough. It was named after the Royal Governor Josiah Martin. In 1774 the town moved three miles west to its new and present location bordering the southern Tar River. The town changed its name to Greenesville to honor the war hero General Nathaniel in 1876. The name was then changed again, this time shortened to just Greenville.

Located on the navigable Tar River, Greenville established riverboat lines to transport people and goods by the 1860’s. Greenville was once a major cotton export center, but not for long. Before the year 1900, tobacco took over and became the most prosperous crop. Greenville then grew in to one of the United State’s top tobacco marketers and producers.

By the 1960’s, Greenville began to evolve from the small town image. For a long time the city was only  known for its tobacco and a small state college, called East Carolina Teachers College. The school became the third largest state college with an enrollment of about 8,000 students. In 1967 the college became East Carolina University. Today ECU’s enrolment has nearly tripled, reaching about 26,000 students.

The growth of Greenville’s economy began in 1968 when Burroughs Wellcome, a successful pharmaceutical company, was established in the city. The company, now known as DSM Pharmaceuticals, is still located in Greenville and employs approximately 1,400 people. Greenville is also home to several other major companies such as Rubbermaid, NACCO Materials Handling Group, Grady-White Boats, and ASMO.

The city of Greenville is located approximately 85 miles from Raleigh, which is the capital city of North Carolina. The city of Greenville is the largest member of Pitt County. Today Greenville serves as Eastern North Carolina’s center for industry.  The city’s size exceeds 31.8 square miles and is home to approximately 72,233 people.

Life in Greenville NC
As the cultural, educational, medical, and economic center of Eastern North Carolina, Greenville has a lot to offer. The city has an abundance of dining and shopping businesses and a variety of cultural and recreational activities.

Greenville is the home to the East Carolina University Pirates. Whether you are a visitor or a resident, people love to visit the university campus, attend the Pirate’s victorious sporting events, tour The Ledonia Wright Cultural Center and the Wellington B. Gray Gallery. African-American and Native American Art can be found on display at ECU’s Ledonia Wright Cultural Center. At the university’s Wellington B. Gray Gallery art can be admired in all types, shapes, sizes, and colors.

Over 25 parks and recreational facilities are managed and maintained by the Greenville Parks and Recreation Department. Included are several gymnasiums, recreation and community centers, tennis courts, swimming pools, baseball fields, playgrounds, and a soccer complex. River Park North is stretched out over 324 acres of land with 1.2 miles of land bordering the river and five ponds. River Park North includes activities like pedal boating, picnicking, fishing, camping, and hiking. In 2004, Greenville was named in the top 50 best recreation and parks departments. Sports Illustrated magazine named Greenville “Sportstown USA”

College View Historic District is located Adjacent to the East Carolina University campus. This historical area is named as a National Register Historic District and also a Local Historic District. The College View Historic District includes one of Greenville’s largest, most preserved early twentieth century residential areas. The city also has 25 remarkable landmarks.

As an economic center, shopping, dining, and nightlife are plentiful in Greenville. The city has nightclubs of all flavors, mostly located around with in two block proximity in the downtown area. Since ECU is a short distance most of the clubs and lounges tend to cater to the college crowd. If you’re looking for a place to shop, you won’t have to look far. In Greenville there are several malls, shopping centers, and specialty boutiques. Greenville is most famous for its Eastern North Carolina Style Barbeque.

Greenville is a city of options with something for everyone. It has been Featured in Where to Retire magazine in March/April 2003 and Summer 1995. Greenville has been Ranked #1 on the “best work force” list in Business North Carolina magazine. The city was also included on Money magazine’s list of the “best places to live in America”  and list of the “nation’s most livable cities” as well as the list of “great towns with great jobs” Greenville ranked 10 on Kiplinger’s “healthy cities” list in 1996.
Children of Greenville are educated by the Pitt County School System.

Greenville NC Real Estate
Real Estate in Greenville follows right along with everything else Greenville has to offer. There is something for everyone. There are a variety of house styles from historic Craftsman, Spanish Colonial Revival, Spanish Eclectic, Colonial Revival, Italian Renaissance Revival, Tudor Revival style houses, to more modern styles.

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