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Randolph County was formed in 1779 from Guilford. It was named in honor of Peyton Randolph of Virginia, who was president of the Continental Congress. It is in the central section of the State and shares boundaries with Guilford, Alamance, Chatham, Moore, Montgomery, and Davidson counties. The act establishing the county authorized the first court and all subsequent courts to be held at the home of Abraham Reese unless otherwise decided upon by the justices of the peace, until a courthouse could be built. Commissioners were named in 1783 to select a site for the county seat. In 1788 a town was established at the courthouse on the land of Thomas Dauggan. This town was named Johnstonville in honor of Samuel Johnston.
In 1796 Asheborough was established as the county seat on the land of Jesse Henley. In 1819 a new courthouse was authorized to be built in Asheborough. Asheboro (607410E 3952092N) is the county seat. Other towns are Archdale, Franklinville, Liberty, Ramseur, Randleman, Seagrove, Staley, and Trinity. Randolph County has 20 townships or subdivisions, and it is also a part of the Piedmont Triad, the largest metropolitan area located entirely within North Carolina.
There are a number of National Register of Historic Places properties in Randolph County. In addition, the county government and its preservation commission have a list of county historic sites as does the local tourism authority.
Randolph County is home to the North Carolina Zoo, which has the goal of becoming the world’s largest natural habitat zoo; the Uwharrie National Forest; the Richard Petty Museum (home of NASCAR’s all-time career victory leader); the Seagrove area potteries, which enjoy an international reputation for exceptional hand-thrown pottery; and other places to enjoy while in the area (see page on Local Interest).
The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center has a number of Randolph County histories online.