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About Smithfield, N.C.
Smithfield, North Carolina lies along the banks of the Neuse River, in the scenic coastal plains region. Together with neighboring city, Selma, Smithfield boasts one of NC's fastest growing metropolitan areas. This community, named for landowner John Smith, reports over 11,000 residents (Census 2000data) and serves as the seat of Johnston County.
The Johnston County Courthouse, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, relocated here in the late 1700's, initiating the founding of Smithfield. The delightful Town Commons Park, on the shores of the Neuse River, is the location where Smith's Ferry entered what would eventually become Smithfield. Its first bank now houses the Heritage Center, which holds historic artifacts and extensive research archives with genealogical records for Johnston County. Famous residents include Ava Gardner, who has a museum in Smithfield honoring her career, and professional wrestler Shane Helms, better known as "The Hurricane". Smithfield, located less than thirty miles from the capital city of Raleigh, is one of the ten oldest towns in NC.
Education takes priority in the Smithfield community. Highly acclaimed public schools and an abundance of opportunities for higher learning exist in Smithfield and the surrounding Triangle region. Among the fifty colleges in the area, Johnston Community College is the closest, with a wide variety of choices located within forty miles. These include Barton College in Wilson, Campbell University in Buis Creek, Duke University, North Carolina Central University both in Durham, Peace College and North Carolina State University both in Raleigh and North Carolina Wesleyan College, which has several campuses throughout the area.
Smithfield has eleven developed parks with playground equipment, picnic areas and facilities for baseball, tennis, volleyball and basketball. Jordan Lake, Falls Lake and Kerr Lake, together, provide an anglers paradise, as well as a variety of water sports. Smithfield, NC, just like Smithfield, VA, prides itself on its country ham. Each May, residents gather for the annual Ham & Yam Festival to celebrate two delicious products of Smithfield's agricultural tradition: country hams and yams.
Over 25,000 jobs in Johnston County come from widely known corporate companies such as Bayer, Caterpillar and Eaton. International businesses, which include Fresenius Kabi and Novo Nordisk, both pharmaceutical companies, have thriving facilities located in Johnston County. In addition, Smithfield has the distinct advantage of its close proximity to one of the nation's largest research parks. The Research Triangle Park (RTP) and its affiliation with three nationally renowned research universities provide access to extensive technology and research; Johnston County reaps the benefits with an extremely favorable position for development. The RTP employs 45,000, and houses tenants such as Cisco Systems and IBM.
Smithfield, North Carolina, one of the fastest growing cities in the country, remains a haven with safe, serene neighborhoods, a low crime rate and a delightfully mild climate. High-tech career opportunities and small town southern charm make Smithfield a unique place to call home.
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