Scroll down this page or click on specific site name to view features on the following Scotland County attractions/points of interest:
Fast facts about Scotland County:
Created in 1899, the county is named for the country of Scotland, the homeland of many of the county’s settlers.
The county seat is Laurinburg, named for the McLaurin family, early settlers to the area. Other communities include Gibson, Laurel Hill, and Old Hundred.
Scotland County’s land area is 319.14 square miles; the population in the 2010 census was 36,157.
You’d have to look long and hard to find a house as handsome in appearance as the John Blue House in Laurinburg. With its vaulted roof, turret, bay windows, gingerbread scrollwork, and two-tiered wrap-around porch, it is the quintessential Victorian mansion. John Blue was the archetypal self-made man. Although receiving little formal education, Blue had a keen mind and was naturally inventive. In 1886, at the age of 25, he and his father went into business together manufacturing farm equipment. John’s creativity led to the development of a cotton stalk cutter, a fertilizer distributor, and a cotton planter, three inventions that revolutionized late 19th century farming and made their creator wealthy. His creativity didn’t stop with farm implements. Local tradition holds that Blue designed the grand family home that survives today as one of the most picturesque Victorian mansions in the southeast. In addition to being its architect, Blue also was responsible for carving much of the delicate scrollwork found in the lacey, two-storied wrap-around porch. Blue also installed an interior water tank that made his house the first in the county to have running water. A Delco system consisting of large glass batteries and a generator located in a small exterior dependency also meant that the Blue residence was the first in the area to have electric lights.
The Scotland County Parks and Recreation Commission has been responsible for the maintenance of the property since the late 1970s, and the house provides office space for the Commission. For this reason, although open to the public for self-guided walk-throughs, the building doesn’t fit the typical house-museum profile. The mansion contains twelve rooms, nine of which have fireplaces, and several rooms feature original stained glass windows, including deep red panes that were considered especially fashionable at the time the house was constructed. The second floor porch that completely encircles the house often served the Blue family as a sleeping porch on hot summer nights. One upstairs bedroom is furnished with period pieces and family heirlooms, including the bed that belonged to John Blue’s parents. Another bedroom serves as a sports room containing memorabilia about local teams and athletes.
Located on the property are several other buildings of historic impor-tance to the region, including two 19th century cabins, a general store, and a fully restored and operational, mule-powered, 1850s cotton gin and cotton press. These buildings are usually open to the public only on special occasions, such as the annual John Blue Cotton Festival held the second weekend in October each year. 2004 marks the 21st year for the event. The Festival highlights “old-time” farm skills, machinery, games, and crafts. Other event attractions include a petting zoo, hayrides, house tours, and trips aboard the John Blue Cotton Blossom Railroad. To get to the John Blue House from Laurinburg, turn west on X-Way Road off US 15/401 in Laurinburg. The house is about two miles ahead, on the left. Scotland County Parks and Recreation office hours are 8-5 Monday-Friday. 910-277-2585
Located across the street from the John Blue House, the Museum of Scotland County showcases numerous artifacts that provide a look back at days gone by. Displays include agricultural and textile equipment; early farm implements; Civil War artifacts; vintage automobiles; and a fire truck. One of the more memorable items is a rocking chair used by President Herbert Hoover. 910-276-2496