Lumberton is a city in Robeson County, North Carolina, United States. The population has grown to 21,542 in the 2010 census from 20,795 in the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Robeson County. Lumberton, located in southern North Carolina's Inner Banks region, is located on the Lumber River. Founded in 1787 by John Willis, an officer in the American Revolution, Lumberton was originally a shipping point for lumber used by the Navy, which was sent downriver to Georgetown, South Carolina. Most of the town's growth, however, began shortly after World War II.
The City of Lumberton was created by an Act of the North Carolina General Assembly in 1787 and was named the county seat of Robeson County. Lumberton was incorporated in 1859.
Robeson County is located in the Coastal Plains region of southeastern North Carolina. The county was created from Bladen County in 1786 by two American Revolutionary War heroes and residents of the area, General John Willis and Colonel Thomas Robeson. The county was named after Colonel Robeson and the land for the county seat was donated by General Willis, who is also credited with naming the county seat Lumberton.
The area was a frontier destination for both white and numerous free families of color from Virginia in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Many free blacks were descendants of white men and African women, whether slave, free or indentured, from the colonial years when working classes lived and worked near each other. The County has a high proportion of Lumbee, who have been recognized as a Native American tribe by the state of North Carolina but have not been able to receive federal recognition as an Indian tribe by the US Federal government or the B.I.A.
For four seasons, 1947-50, Lumberton fielded a professional minor league baseball team in the Tobacco State League. Affiliated with the Chicago Cubs, the team was known as the Lumberton Cubs in 1947 and '48, and the Lumberton Auctioneers in 1949 and '50.
Established in 1912, the Robeson County Health Department is recognized as the oldest rural health department in the nation. Its current headquarters is on the outskirts of Lumberton.
In 1970, Lumberton was named an All-American City, presented by the National Civic League. It became a two-time winner in 1995 of this award which recognizes those whose citizens work together to identify and tackle community-wide challenges and achieve uncommon results.
David Lynch's film Blue Velvet (1986) was set in Lumberton, though it was filmed about 70 miles (110 km) southeast in Wilmington. This situation raised some problems during filming, so Lynch filmed a small sequence in Lumberton and was subsequently allowed to use the name.
In 2010, the North Carolina Legislature designated Lumberton as THE FIRST Certified Retirement Community in North Carolina. This certification signals that Lumberton offers an unprecedented quality of living and range of amenities, services and opportunities which make it desirable to retirees. This program captured the Governor’s Innovative Small Business Community Award in 2011.
The Baker Sanatorium, Luther Henry Caldwell House, Carolina Theatre, Humphrey-Williams Plantation, Lumberton Commercial Historic District, Planters Building, Robeson County Agricultural Building, Alfred Rowland House, and US Post Office-Lumberton are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Lumberton is located at 34°37′38″N 79°00′43″W.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.8 square miles (40.9 km2), of which 15.7 square miles (40.7 km2) are land and 0.1 square mile (0.2 km2) (0.44%) is water.
Lumberton is located on the Lumber River in the state's Coastal Plains region. The Lumber River State Park, 115 miles (185 km) of natural and scenic waterway, flows through Lumberton. The river was designated as a National Wild and Scenic River and is part of the North Carolina Natural and Scenic River System. The Lumber River has been classified as natural, scenic and recreational. Recreation includes canoeing and boating, fishing, hunting, picnicking, camping, nature study, swimming, biking, jogging, crafts and fossil and artifact hunting.
Lumberton is the larger principal city of the Lumberton-Laurinburg CSA, a Combined Statistical Area that includes the Lumberton (Robeson County) and Laurinburg (Scotland County) micropolitan areas, which had a combined population of 159,337 at the 2000 census.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 21,542 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 39.0% White, 36.7% Black, 12.7% Native American, 2.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.1% from some other race and 2.2% from two or more races. 6.7% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
As of the census of 2000, there were 20,795 people, 7,827 households and 5,165 families residing in Lumberton. The population density was 1,322.4 people per square mile (510.8/km2). There were 8,800 housing units at an average density of 559.6 per square mile (216.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 48.54% White, 35.44% African American, 12.79% Native American, 0.91% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.18% from other races and 1.11% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 3.30% of the population.
Of the 7,827 households, 32.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them; 38.8% were married couples living together; 23.0% had a female householder with no husband present; and 34.0% were non-families. 29.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.01.
The city's population was spread out, with 26.3% under the age of 18; 9.3% from 18 to 24; 28.2% from 25 to 44; 21.3% from 45 to 64; and 14.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 89.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.8 males.
The median income for a household in Lumberton was $26,782, and the median income for a family was $33,839. Males had a median income of $28,903 versus $24,503 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,504. About 23.9% of families and 25.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.4% of those under age 18 and 23.7% of those age 65 or over.Brad Allen, NFL referee
Brad Edwards (born 1966), was a former American football defensive back who played nine seasons in the National Football League for the Minnesota Vikings, Washington Redskins, and the Atlanta Falcons. He is the Director of Athletics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and was born in Lumberton.
Hunter Foster (born 1969), actor
Penny Fuller (born 1940), film, television and Broadway actress
Carmen Hart, pornographic film actress and erotic dancer, was born in Lumberton.
Dr. Johnny Hunt, who was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention in 2008, was born in Lumberton.
James Jordan, the father of Michael Jordan, an American former professional basketball player, entrepreneur, and principal owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets, was killed in Lumberton.
Vonta Leach (born 1981) is an American football fullback for the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL.
Sean Locklear (born 1981) is an American football offensive tackle who is currently a free agent
Afeni Shakur, a prominent member of the Black Panther Party and the mother of rapper Tupac Shakur, was born in Lumberton.
John Small (born 1946) was an American football linebacker with the Atlanta Falcons and the Detroit Lions in the National Football League. He was born in Lumberton and died in 2012.
George Henry White, the last African-American US Congressman of the 19th century, went to school for two years in Lumberton.
Tim Worley (born 1966) is a former American football running back who played for the Georgia Bulldogs in college, and the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL), was born in Lumberton.
Brandon Scott, (born 1992) 3 time spelling bee champ from 2004-2006 has ties to Lumberton, NC.
Tommy Greene, (born 1967) a former Major League Baseball player who pitched from 1989 to 1995 and 1997, was born in Lumberton.
Gene Locklear (born 1949), a former Major League Baseball outfielder, was born in Lumberton.
Dwight Lowry (born 1957), was a catcher in Major League Baseball who played for the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins was born in Lumberton and died in 1997 in New York.
Jamain Stephens, (born 1974), a former NFL offensive tackle who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals was born in Lumberton.
Donnell Thompson, (born 1958), was a defensive end in the National Football League.