Some South Carolinians are facing a dilemma they never thought would be a problem for them – specifically, the fact that they soon will be residents of North Carolina. The boundary between the two states, drawn up in the 1735 without the benefit of today’s GPS systems and computer calculations, was revisited recently and found to be 150 feet too far to the north. So, with all the wisdom of government, the powers that be have decided to move the line.
The two states are making strides to relocate every last centimeter to the proper Carolina, but there is more to it than simply moving the state line sign. There are 93 properties currently in one Carolina that will soon be in the other Carolina.
According to the Associated Press, the king of England asked the border to be traced between the two colonies, starting at the Atlantic, 30 miles south of the Cape Fear River, and take a straight northwest route to 35 degrees latitude. The instructions also called for a boundary due west, but obstacles and inaccuracies abounded, creating a sometimes off-target boundary line.
The consequences of those errors are reverberating more than 200 years later. North and South Carolina agreed to create the Joint Boundary Commission to analyze the border and ensure that each state got the land it was afforded before a serious dispute arose, such as the one between Michigan and Ohio. After all, the state line impacts every aspect of daily living, from how much sales tax you pay to who provides your cable service. The houses which are now connected to the wrong state’s utilities have to be reconnected to those of the other state, though the Joint Boundary Commission is working to pass legislation allowing the services to cross state lines.
But these are not the worst problems for the residents who will be forced into a different state. The real difficulty lies in switching loyalties. There is quite a bit of rivalry between North and South Carolina. “I was born a sandlapper, and I want to remain a sandlapper,” said Jeff Langley, whose house is being split in two by the new border, with a majority of his house switching from South Carolina to North Carolina. “And there is no way in h___ I am rooting for the (UNC) Tar Heels.”
I’m South Carolina born and bred, and this is a serious issue. People from my church have actually “unfriended” or blocked people on Facebook who pull for UNC, but I think sports loyalties can be transferred across state lines without the help of the Joint Boundary Commission. However, I’m not sure. Do we need a Joint Carolina’s Sports Commission?