Homes for Rent in Raeford, NC
The History of Raeford
Located in Hoke County, Raeford’s history began when it was settled on an old cotton field site in 1898. In 1899, the Aberdeen & Rockfish Railroad was extended to present-day Raeford. However, the town wouldn’t get its name until two gentlemen — John McRae and A.A. Williford — who operated the turpentine distillery and the general store, wanted an onsite post office. When choosing a name for the post office, each took a syllable from their names to come up with “Raeford.”
In its earliest years, Raeford’s economy was largely driven by the cotton fields the city was founded on. There were no paved roads, and the only high school in the county was the Raeford Institute, established by Dr. A. P. Dickson and the J. W. McLauchlin and the McRae families.
During the fall of 1903, the schoolhouse burned down and was temporarily moved to the Presbyterian Church until it was resettled into a new building. From there, the institute grew to have nine buildings, and in 1910, it had 325 students. The Raeford Institute was so successful that the town was almost exclusively comprised of families seeking higher education opportunities for their children.
In March 1905, the first newspaper, Facts and Figures, was published by D. Scott Poole, and in 1911, F.P. Johnson bought the paper and continued publishing it until September 1913. On February 18, 1911, the bill establishing Hoke County was enacted into law. This event is probably why F.P. Johnson changed the name of Facts and Figures to the Hoke County Journal soon after purchasing the publication.
When D. Scott Poole became the paper’s editor again, he kept the name as Hoke County Journal. In 1928, Paul Dickson, Sr. began another local newspaper called Hoke County News, and eventually, the two papers consolidated as The News-Journal. Mrs. Dickson took over the newspaper after Mr. Dickson passed away, and she continued to publish the paper until 1946, when it was passed on to their son, Paul Dickson, Jr.
Since its early days as a small town largely driven by cotton and education, Raeford has become largely sustained by industrial development.
In the past 30 years, the mechanization of farms drove many families from agricultural activity to the major industrial firms, which provide most employment opportunities in Hoke County today. These include Unilever USA-HPC, Burlington Industries, the House of Raeford, Inc., Tar Heel Turkey Hatchery, Unify, and Hoke Rubber Products, Inc.
Attractions & Activities
111 S Highland St., Raeford, NC 28376
Nestled on a five-acre, tree-lined lot and built in 1905, the McLauchlin-McFadyen house is the site of the present-day Raeford-Hoke Museum. The historic home opened as a public museum in 2002 to preserve the local region’s history, culture, and artifacts.
190 Paraclete Dr., Raeford, NC 28376
Paraclete XP is America’s largest indoor skydiving wind tunnel located right here in Raeford, NC. A fun activity for all ages and skill levels, the indoor skydiving facility is one of the most well-known attractions in the region, attracting visitors from all over the south.
Parks & Recreation
2814 Montrose Rd., Raeford, NC 28376
The Carolina Horse Park Foundation is situated on 315 acres and is nationally recognized as the premiere equine competition venue in Hoke County. The nonprofit organization began in 1998 and is committed to “the preservation of open space for equestrian and recreational purposes with multi-disciplined capabilities suitable for championship-level equine competitions.”
4407 Aberdeen Rd., Raeford, NC 28376
Once aggressively harvested for pine needles, the Calloway Forest Preserve is now a protected natural playground of longleaf pine forests in the Sandhills. The preserve is open to visitors year-round and contains many hiking trails for plenty of outdoor recreation.
Visit the Raeford City Events Calendar for a complete list of events in Raeford, NC.