North and South – Carolina

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?

This entry was posted in Quirky news items, Robin Helm on by .

About Robin Helm

Robin Helm's latest work is Understanding Elizabeth, a stand-alone Regency Romance. She joined three other JAFF authors for a best selling Christmas anthology - A Very Austen Christmas. After publishing all three volumes of The Guardian Trilogy: Guardian, SoulFire, and Legacy, she published the Yours by Design Series: Accidentally Yours, Sincerely Yours, and Forever Yours. She and her husband have two adult daughters, two sons-in-law, two granddaughters, a grandson, and a Yorkie Poo named Toby.

8 thoughts on “North and South – Carolina

  1. Gayle Mills

    A bigger issue might be where the children in those families are assigned school districts. I can imagine some interesting school board meetings to try to negotiate the way through that mess. Also, South Carolina has special funding in place for college grants for students who qualify. North Carolina has early college programs for qualifying students.

    It will also affect the numbers upon which U.S. Congressional Districts are proportioned. That will get the career politicians “interested.” No, none of this will be easy.

    Makes me wonder if my property line will change. My backyard property line is the NC-SC state line. I wouldn’t be in favor of paying the higher taxes that would result if I find myself the owner of NC property.

    Can we just play Rock-Paper-Scissors and decide this fairly?


    1. Robin Helm Post author

      You are exactly right. Students who qualify for SC HOPE or LIFE scholarships, or who qualify for SC Palmetto Fellows will be screaming if they are moved into NC by fiat. They also will be most unhappy if they grew up dreaming of going to USC, Clemson, or any other SC college, but now have to pay out-of-state tuition. There just isn’t as much state assistance for college in NC, as we well know because we taught students from both states. This will be a huge mess.


  2. Susan Kaye

    Gad, the only guarantee in this mess is that their blue ribbon committee will cack things up royally.

    This could become the Jarndice v Jarndice case from Dickens’s Bleak House with a generous helping of Little Dorrit’s Circumlocution Office thrown in for fun.

    I see lots of potential for a Southern Gothic here.


  3. Gayle Mills

    If that happens, my property taxes will double. I belong to two utilities cooperatives: Lynches River Electric Co-op and Sandhill Telephone Co-op. I will lose membership in both of those, and instead of being paid capital gains dividends, I will see increased services fees. But the politicians are not focused on my side of the state. They want the strip of SC that wraps around Charlotte. Expanding the metro area is the primary objective along with gaining more access to the Catawba River. Who cares if they take ownership of a strip of poor Chesterfield County? We certainly don’t have anything they want, unless they like sand pits and gnats.


  4. Robin Helm Post author

    Then they are pointed more in my direction, but we live several miles from the line. I’ll bet they’ll take part of Lancaster County, though. Indianland is close to the line.



Why yes, we DO want a piece of your mind. ;-)

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