Marching Through North Carolina: Greenville, NC

(Editors Note: Each weekday in March we will be featuring a city in North Carolina in our “Marching Through North Carolina” series aimed at getting to know your state better from the mountains to the coast. In our firm, we serve all of North Carolina and enjoy learning about what makes us the same and different throughout the Tar Heel state. If you have any tidbits or suggestions about a featured city, please leave a comment on that city or town’s blog post.)

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The Facts:
Population: 84, 986 (2009 Est.)
County: Pitt County

The History:
Greenville is the name it goes by today, but the city didn’t start with that name. In 1771, present day Greenville was founded under the name “Martinsborough” in honor of Royal Governor Josiah Martin. 15 years later the name was once again changed to “Greensville” to honor Nathanael Greene. Later the name was shortened to the “Greenville” as we know it today.

Greenville, which is located next to the Tar River, became a riverboat hot-spot for the transport of goods and passengers throughout North Carolina in the 1860’s. At first, cotton was a major export of Greenville, but eventually gave way to tobacco as the cash crop of the region.

In 1967, after a boost in enrollment to make it the third biggest state supported school in North Carolina, East Carolina Teachers College was renamed East Carolina University (ECU). In 1977, ECU opened the doors to a new medical school.

The school once known as East Carolina Teachers College now has an enrollment of over 27,000 students. In addition to ECU undergraduate programs, the success of the medical school has made Greenville a place known for education and medicine.

Staying with the medicine theme, Greenville is home to one of the largest hospitals in North Carolina. Pitt County Memorial Hospital  provides acute, intermediate, rehabilitation and outpatient health services to more than 1.3 million people in 29 counties. In an average year, Pitt County Memorial Hospital will treat 33,000 inpatients, more than 266,000 outpatients and deliver around 3,000 babies.

Greenville is also known as a meeting spot in the Tar Heel state. Boasting the largest meeting facilities in the state east of frequently traveled I-95, many people utilize the city as a place to meet for conferences and also regional events.

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