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About Johnston Country, N.C.
Johnston County, North Carolina, (population 136,802 in 2002) has always been a market-driven agricultural area. Located in the Piedmont Crescent between Goldsboro and Charlotte, Johnston County offers balmy summer evenings and a pleasant climate. Four distinct seasons with very little snow and enough sun year-round to enable a three-season growing climate and golf all year.
The Civil War brought agony and high tragedy to Johnston County. Almost all of the eligible men in the county's population fought in the war, and a third of them died. Most who survived had physical disabilities, and they returned to a county that had been sacked, plundered and devastated in the 1865 wake of the Union Army. Johnston's first townships: Bentonsville, Beulah, Boon Hill, Clayton, Elevation, Ingrams, Meadow, O'Neals, Pleasant Grove, Selma, Smithfield, and Wilders, were created in 1869 in an atmosphere of want and deprivation. By 1913, with the creation of Wilson's Mills, Cleveland, Banner, Pine Level, and Micro townships, Johnston County had ensured survival and was staking a claim on prosperity.
History buffs will love Atkinson’s Milling Co., (240 years old and still operating), Alamance Battleground, SELMA UNION DEPOT (originally built in 1924 - restored and operational), Bentonville Battleground, and the Tobacco Farm Life Museum are only a few of the Historic Properties in this area. Visit the Johnston County Visitors Bureau website when planning your trip here and do not miss the American Music Jubilee.
Golfers enjoy the local pleasures of Neuse Golf Club, Pine Hollow Golf Club, and Riverwood Golf Club, as well as the easy access to most of North Carolina's championship golf courses.
Shoppers will be amazed at the variety and quality of the Johnston County merchants. From Carolina Premium Outlets, an 83-store outlet center, to North Carolina’s furniture, local crafts and food products, and Selma's world-renowned uptown antique stores, there is something for everyone here.
Johnston County is the birthplace of Ava Gardner and the home of the Ava Gardner Museum. Located in Smithfield, North Carolina, this extensive collection of artifacts representing Ava Gardner's life and career, was predominately assembled by one man. In 1939, while enrolled in secretarial school in Wilson, NC, Ava Gardner kissed Tom Banks (age 12) on the cheek - beginning a life-long devotion on the part of Mr. (later, Doctor) Banks. Dr. Banks, with the aid of his wife, even bought the house where Ava lived from age 2 to 13, for his museum.
Dr. Banks suffered a stroke at the Ava Gardner Museum in 1989 and died within days; Ms Garner died five months later and was buried in Johnston County in The Town of Smithfield. Mrs. Banks donated the collection to the Town of Smithfield. "Grabtown Girl" is a book about Ava Gardner's childhood in rural "Grabtown" (Smithfield) and Johnston County.
Johnston County Schools and the Johnston Community College have excellent reputations, and Duke University, and NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY AT RALEIGH are within easy commuting distance. Job Opportunities abound here. Nearby Research Triangle Park is the largest planned research park in the United States, and corporate giants in Johnston County, such as Bayer, Andrew, Eaton and Caterpillar, employ over 25,000 county residents.
Transportation is excellent with Johnston County's excellent road system, Johnston County Airport, and Amtrak available.
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