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lenoir county, north carolina

On with the show

Reputation builds for art and entertainment

Goodness, We’re Growing Expansions, progress enhance quality of life

2013 | sponsored by the Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce


4 Welcome to Kinston-Lenoir County

An introduction to the community

Things to Do 8 Attractions & Activities On With the Show

Reputation builds for art and entertainment

12 Local Flavor Slice of the Good Life 14 Arts & Culture Real-Life Drama 16 Sports & Recreation Active Community

kinston 2013 edition

volume 6

lenoir county, north carolina


18 New Developments Goodness, We’re Growing

Expansions, progress enhance quality of life

2 Education 2 Education Takes Priority


25 Health Here’s to Good Health

26 Community Profile


27 Working Here Boosting Business


A mix of new and old gives Kinston business a boost

28 Business Climate Sonic Boomtown

From aerospace to food, Kinston-Lenoir County investments are on an upward trajectory

3 Chamber Report 3 2020 Vision

35 Economic Profile

12 On The Cover A sculpture at Chamber Centennial Corner that rises above a time capsule with artifacts from the area. Photo by Martin B. Cherry

All or part of this magazine is printed with soy ink on recycled paper containing 10% post-consumer waste. Please recycle this magazine

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Kinston Public services ‌ the Home Team Advantage

Kinston Public services delivers safe and reliable electricity to more than 12,000 residents and businesses in Kinston and surrounding communities. Kinston Public Services customers receive excellent, local customer service and reliable power, all right in their hometown. In fact, Kinston Public Services has been recognized as a Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) for three consecutive years by the American Public Power Association. Kinston is proud to be one of more than 70 public power communities in North Carolina. These communities own and operate their electric systems, offering customers excellent, local customer service, reliable electricity and prompt restoration after outages.

Find out more at


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Visit the website for more great photos and stories about Kinston-Lenoir County.

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lenoir county, north carolina

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expansions, progress enhance quality of life

2013 | sponsored by the Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber of CommerCe

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Kinston-Lenoir County, North Carolina A quick, comprehensive overview of what’s great about the community Lenoir County is the kind of place where strangers exchange smiles, friends swap stories and family members share enriching experiences. Newcomers are welcomed with scenic forests, exciting historical sites, a thriving creative community and a progressive business scene. At the heart of it all is Kinston, which twice has been presented with the All-America City Award in recognition of outstanding civic accomplishments. This area fosters creativity, rewards hard work and provides plenty of ways to play.


eR us


At A Glance

258 70

La Grange





Pink Hill


Location Kinston is 80 miles east of Raleigh. Spirit AeroSystems and the Global TransPark make the area a major player in the aerospace industry, while attractions such as the Neuse River and downhome restaurants promote a family-friendly atmosphere.

POPULATION Lenoir County


Time zone




Distances to three major cities nearby Raleigh, N.C., 80 miles Richmond, Va., 192 miles Columbia, S.C., 246 miles

For More Information

Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce 301 N. Queen St. Kinston, NC 28502 Phone: (252) 527-1131 Fax: (252) 527-1914


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annual rainfall


National Average: 30”

Accolade Kinston is a recipient of the prestigious All-America City Award by the National Civic League.

Much to Do The Neuse River, which winds through the center of Lenoir County, brought early settlers to the area. Today, fishermen share the river with canoes and kayaks, and children wade in its waters. Golfers can tee off at area courses throughout the year. Winters are mild and summers are warm, creating the perfect environment for outdoor play. Walkers, runners and bikers enjoy trails that lead to parks and playgrounds, including a special area just for dogs. The cities of Pink Hill, La Grange and Kinston feature historical attractions, art galleries, restaurants and performance venues. Each city hosts seasonal events that bring residents from across the county together to celebrate historic moments, food and music. Economy Grows Lenoir County is home to the North Carolina Global TransPark, a 2,500-acre industrial/airport site near Kinston. It includes one of the longest runways on the Eastern Seaboard and tenants such as Spirit AeroSystems and Henley Aviation. Large and small manufacturers, a strong foundation of small businesses, tourism and agriculture create a broad economy. Since 2007 more than 4,200 new jobs have been created in Lenoir County.

Make a Splash

Kinston’s Pepsi Sprayground at Fairfield Park is a popular attraction during warm weather months.

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Things To Do Kinston-Lenoir County’s must-do attractions, activities and dining

Learn the History

Located at Lenoir Community College, Heritage Place is part of the school’s Learning Resources Center. It includes research material about Greene, Jones and Lenoir counties and portions of Virginia. The facility has a microform collection, genealogical resources, death records, books, newspapers, photos, videos and more.


Nature Center

Driving Tour

Historic Attractions





Visit the Neuseway Nature Center, home to live animals indigenous to North Carolina, such as snakes, flying squirrels, talking birds, bears and more. The facility also includes a saltwater touch tank, plants and outdoor nature trails.

Jump in the car and follow the African American Heritage Music Trail, which stretches through eight counties. The trail focuses on African American music from eastern North Carolina, and includes music venues and informational kiosks.


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Explore the CSS Neuse Interpretive Center, where visitors will find artifacts from the CSS Neuse like cannonballs and ammunition shells. Kinston also has the CSS Neuse State Historic Site, which was relocated to the downtown area.

Built in 1772, Harmony Hall is one of Kinston’s oldest structures, and has been home to several of Lenoir County’s important historical figures. The home was once a Civil War hospital, a church annex, a public library and a women’s club facility.

Things To Do

Feel the Speed

Known for attracting the area’s top riders, Ironclad Motorsports hosts motocross and extreme dirt track racing at the Lenoir County Fairgrounds in Kinston. A supercross-style dirt bike track and an ATV clay flat track offer different racing experiences.



Water Park

Arts Center



Splash Around


At Kinston Battlefield Park, learn about the First Battle of Kinston, which took place during the Civil War in December 1862. Visitors are invited to embark on a driving tour of the park, which includes a visitors center, the Kinston Bridge and other sites.

The CSS Neuse II, the world’s only full-scale Civil War replica, enables visitors to see how Civil War sailors lived. Located in downtown Kinston, the structure is open for tours on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and other times by appointment.

Bring the kids to the newly opened Lions Water Adventure at the Woodmen Community Center. The water park includes a lazy river, at 36-foot tower with water slides, a competition pool, a leisure pool with a play area, a concession stand and more.

The La Grange Arts Center is located in La Grange’s first brick home, the Commodore Barrow House, which was built circa 1905. The center includes an exhibit room, studio, clay room and kiln, and also hosts craft shows and art classes.

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Things To Do

Grab a Drink Downtown

Mother Earth Brewing’s tap room and beer garden in downtown Kinston has the brewery’s four flagship, hand-crafted brews on tap.

On With the 8

Show Kins ton-Lenoir Count y


An artisan village tha t includes newly remodeled ho mes is developing in downtow n Kinsto


Kinston gains reputation as destination for art and entertainment


owntown Kinston is in the bloom of a cultural renaissance. In the past few years, the former textile town has become a regional hotspot known for its award-winning food and craft beer, lively music, and burgeoning art scene. “Downtown Kinston has become a real destination,” says Stephen Hill, who founded Mother Earth Brewing, an environmentally friendly brewery in downtown Kinston, with his son-in-law in 2008. “We have wonderful restaurants, wonderful beer, a wonderful nightlife. I’d call it a rebirth.” A Taste of the Future Much of the re-energized vibe is thanks to Kinston’s small-town charm and friendly business environment, which has attracted an influx of young, creative spirits. Chef Vivian Howard, a James Beard Award semifinalist, returned to her roots in 2005 when she and her husband moved from New York City to Kinston, where she grew up. A year later they started Chef & the Farmer, an upscale, farm-to-fork restaurant that serves modern Southern cuisine made from local ingredients. Just around the corner on Herritage Street, the recently opened The Red Room lounge and music venue buzzes on the weekends with good food and live music. The Boiler

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Explore an Historic Attraction

The CSS Neuse is on display at the CSS Neuse Interpretive Center in downtown Kinston, which is also home to artifacts recovered from the ship such as cannonballs, ammunition shells, tools and clothing pieces.


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Dance and Sing in the Streets

Pride of Kinston attracts thousands to downtown Kinston every summer for Sand in the Streets, an outdoor concert series that features bands such as North Tower, Breakfast Club and Spare Change.

Room, a gourmet burger and oyster bar will open in August, and the Asian-inspired Ginger 108, opened in April. A Fresh Face on the Past Downtown Kinston’s renewed energy spreads beyond the growing nightlife. History buffs will love taking a stroll down Museum Row, a cluster of downtown historical sites and exhibits, many of which have been recently renovated. Touch the hull of the CSS Neuse II, a replica of a Civil War-era gunboat, or spend the afternoon marveling at the artifacts on display in the CSS Neuse Interpretive Center. Pride of Kinston, a local nonprofit, has worked hard to revitalize the downtown area by promoting economic development and aesthetic improvements with an eye toward historic preservation. The group hosts a series of family-friendly activities throughout the year, including a Christmas parade and the popular Sand in the Streets, a summer concert series in which

regional and national acts play on the newly built bandstand on the bank of the Neuse River. “It helps bring people downtown,” architect Michael Dunn says. “And while they’re here they start looking around at the shops and restaurants. People are really excited about doing things downtown again.” Artists are also getting excited about downtown Kinston. Dunn’s architectural firm, Dunn and Dalton, recently renovated the vacant space below its downtown offices to create an artist space and working gallery. Just a few blocks away, Mother Earth Brewing’s Stephen Hill has remodeled a row of houses for a planned artisan village, where potters, glass-blowers and other artists can create and display their wares in their own homes. For Hill, it’s another step in the rebirth of his hometown. “Kinston is now a place where you can truly live, work, and play,” he says.  by Miles Britton  by staff photographer Martin B. Cherry

“Downtown Kinston has become a real destination. We have wonderful restaurants, wonderful beer, a wonderful nightlife. I’d call it a rebirth.” Stephen Hill, founder of Mother Earth Brewing



Grab a Drink

Downtown Mother Earth Brewing’s garden in tap room and downtown beer Kinston has four flagship, the brewery’s hand-craft ed brews on tap. SNAPSHO T

An artisan village newly remodel that includes ed homes developi ng in downtow is n Kinston.


On With th e



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Things To Do: Local Flavor

Slice of the Good Life

Community savors a variety of restaurants Variety is the spice of life, and that includes restaurants – especially in Kinston-Lenoir County, where restaurants range from fine dining to more casual places. Homestyle Cooking

Modern Southern Cuisine

King’s BBQ

Chef & the farmer

The King brothers opened King’s BBQ Restaurant in 1947 and a few years later developed an addictive apple cider vinegar sauce that the King family has used ever since. Today, King’s continues the legacy of serving the finest Eastern North Carolina style BBQ and southern food. The original restaurant, on East New Bern Road, has seating for more than 800 and caters special events. In the 1990s King’s went nationwide with King’s Oink Express, which allows hungry customers to order BBQ and have it shipped anywhere in the country within 48 hours.

Former New York caterers Ben Knight and Vivian Howard moved to eastern North Carolina in 2004 because Vivian’s parents lived here. The couple decided to open a restaurant, and eventually chose downtown Kinston, where the 70-seat Chef & the Farmer opened in 2006. Vivian, a chef, describes the restaurant as having a rustic urban vibe with new Southern cuisine. She buys fresh produce and meats from a network of small farmers, and changes the menu weekly, serving items such as kale and navel orange salad, rice-crusted catfish, bourbon-braised pork shoulder lasagna, and Painted Hills 20-ounce ribeyes.

Healthy Eating Never Tasted So Good

Queen Street Deli, a delicatessen and bakery on South Queen Street in Kinston, is known for its healthy food offerings. The menu features preservative-free, homemade panini, cookies, soups and cakes. Breakfast items include granola, oatmeal, muffins, wheatberry bread and several flavored coffees, while main course selections are eight different sandwiches, eight different panini and three salads.


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Kinston and Lenoir County’s premier full-service commercial real estate company for over 50 years!

Check out available properties at:

Pasta, Pizza and All Things Italian

Bellini’s Pizza & Grill provides an upscale, relaxing environment that is family friendly. Its menu includes appetizers, salads, soups and main courses. Calamari, bruschetta and mussels are among the appetizer choices, soups range from New England clam chowder to seafood bisque, and baked pastas, ravioli, tortellini, sandwiches and pizzas round out the menu. The restaurant serves an Italian lunch buffet Monday through Friday. 518 Plaza Blvd. • P.O. Drawer 1475 • Kinston, NC 28503 (252) 523-5107 • Fax: (252) 523-8858

International Dining

Tokyo Kinston Located on West Vernon Avenue, Tokyo Kinston is regarded as one of the top Asian dining spots in Lenoir County. It is known for its fresh sushi with several menu options, and has perhaps the best miso soup in all of eastern North Carolina. The restaurant also takes great pride in its customer service. By Kevin Litwin

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Things To Do: arts & culture

Real-Life Drama

Arts, culture scene remains vibrant History, music and art play a big part in Lenoir County’s cultural scene. Here’s a look at attractions well worth visiting. Driving Tour

“[Caswell No. 1 Fire Station Museum] is free, historical, fun. 100% recommended if you are in the area and in need of a cheap weekend activity. Lots of history and artifacts.” Nicole S., user

African American Music Trail The North Carolina Arts Council has been spearheading a project called the African American Music Trail, which will tell the story of past and present musicians who represent eastern North Carolina. Council officials hope this regional tourism trail – a self-driving tour – will be in full swing during 2013. Maps will be available at the Arts Council, which also has photo displays of musicians. A two-acre music park, slated to open in September, will feature a landmark sculpture and several interactive exhibits.The driving trail will wind through Edgecombe, Greene, Jones, Nash, Pitt, Wayne and Wilson counties. Recognized musicians from the eastern North Carolina region include trumpet player Dick Knight, drummer Melvin Parker, saxophonist Maceo Parker, gospel singer Bishop F.C. Barnes, Wilson native Bill Myers of the Monitors and popular singer Roberta Flack.

Step Back in Time and Discover Kinston’s History

Harriet’s Chapel, a 19th-century church, served as a Civil War field hospital where both Union and Confederate soldiers were tended following the 1862 First Battle of Kinston. The church, on U.S. Highway 258 South, was eventually destroyed. Today, the New Beaverdam Primitive Church, similar in design to Harriet’s Chapel, is on the site. A historical marker on the grounds describes the Starr’s Battery encounter during the First Battle of Kinston. The church is open to visitors from dawn to dusk.


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Research Center

Heritage Place at Lenoir Community College Heritage Place was established in 1988 on the campus of Lenoir Community College to provide resource materials that go way back in history. The records focus primarily on eastern North Carolina, especially Lenoir, Greene and Jones counties, and a large section of Virginia. Several genealogical and local history collections dating back to the late 1700s contain death records, maps, picture files, newsletters and a microfilm collection.


A new bandstand in do wntown Kinston’s Pearson Par k is part of the African American Music Trail.

Commemorative Park

Chamber Centennial Corner Park The Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce has been serving the community since 1911, and part of its 100-year celebration in 2011 was a ribbon-cutting and time capsule ceremony at newly dedicated Chamber Centennial Corner Park. The park is named in honor of all who had a major impact on Kinston and Lenoir County. Located in downtown Kinston, it includes a sculpture, engraved bricks and benches. By Kevin Litwin Check out more fun things to do in Kinston-Lenoir County at things-to-do.

Things To Do: sports & recreation

Batter Up

Kinston’s historic Grainger Stadium hosts the Freedom Classic baseball tournament, an annual three-game event during which members of the United States Naval Academy and Air Force Academy come together to play ball. The tournament is an opportunity to bring the Kinston community together while honoring and remembering the area’s military members. In 2013, the event’s third year, nearly 4,000 fans attended the games.

Active Community

Kinston-Lenoir County’s recreational offerings keep residents energized In Kinston-Lenoir County, there’s always plenty to do. Residents have easy access to community centers, fitness facilities, golf courses, parks and more, and can also enjoy a variety of local events. Golf Options

Traditional and unusual courses North Carolina has a wealth of excellent golf venues, and Kinston is home to four of them. The city’s courses – Falling Creek Country Club, Kinston Country Club, Bill Fay Park Golf Course and Cutter Creek Golf Club – challenge golfers of all skill levels. The area also offers disc golf thanks to Barnet Park, which is home to a nationally acclaimed 18-hole disc golf course that winds through the woods around the scenic park and offers a great mix of wooded and open holes. An active roster of games and tournaments draws disc golf players to Kinston from around the nation.


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Community Spirit Open since 2011, the Pink Hill Wellness and Education Center includes two exercise rooms with treadmills, elliptical machines, recumbent bicycles and strength equipment, as well as a nursery, youth fitness room, classrooms for Lenoir Community College and more. Pink Hill also offers fitness classes such as Zumba, kickboxing and yoga. In July 2012 Kinston residents welcomed the 53,000-square-foot Woodmen Community Center, which offers a fitness center, an aquatics center, a gymnasium that can be separated into two spaces, an elevated track for running and walking, and group fitness classes. In May 2013, the facility opened its Lions Water Adventure water park, which includes a 650-foot lazy river, three water slides and more.

Dog Park


Gone to the Dogs

Ready to Rev

The 32-acre Rotary Dog Park, just down the road from the Neuseway Nature Center, features large ponds, open areas and walking trails for dog training and exercise, and the Randall Family Pet Memorial Gardens.

Action has its place at Ironclad Motorsports. Located at the fairgrounds, Kinston’s most extreme event center features a monstrous motocross track and flat dirt track for two types of racing. Several televised races at the track have earned Ironclad national exposure, bringing both pros and amateurs to try their hand there. Outdoor Activities, Destinations

more Places to Play

Back to Nature

One of the county’s top attractions, the Neuseway Nature Park covers 55 acres along the Neuse River. It features hiking trails, ponds for fishing, canoes, an 18-foot wall for rock climbing and a saltwater “touch tank” with sea urchins and starfish.

Kinston-Lenoir County offers the annual Kinston 8000: Run for the River, an 8K race and one-mile fun run; Tull’s Millpond, a 200-acre millpond open to the public for fishing, kayaking and canoeing; and Mock Athletic Skills Facility with batting cages, a basketball court, weight room and game room. By Rebecca Denton

Bethel Christian Academy Daycare • Preschool • Elementary • High School Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. ~ Proverbs 22:6

1936 Banks School Rd. Kinston, NC 28504 (252) 522-4636

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Goodness, We’re

GROWING Kinston and Lenoir County’s growth increases residents’ quality of life


rive around Kinston and Lenoir County, and you’ll see lots of new construction. The community’s growth has prompted a surge of new homes and public buildings, including two new fire stations, a community center and water park, and a long-awaited veterans nursing home.


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In the midst of growth and progress, community leaders are taking steps to ensure Kinston and Lenoir County don’t lose the hometown atmosphere that has long enticed people to make them their home. Along with economic enhancements have come amenities that improve the area’s already high quality of life. “Kinston continues to have a small-town feel, and now it has large-city amenities,” says Jim Stolze, director of community partnerships for Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society, whose Woodmen Foundation helped fund Kinston’s new community center and water park. “The growth of new businesses surrounding the Woodmen Community Center will only increase options available to local residents. It’s the best of both worlds – a community where you know your neighbors, yet have many options for recreation.” Woodmen Community Center Backed by an investment of nearly $9 million from the Woodmen Foundation and contributions from the City of Kinston, Lenoir County and the Golden Leaf Foundation, the Woodmen Community Center opened in July 2012. The 53,000-square-foot building has a double gymnasium, elevated walking track, indoor and outdoor competition and therapy pools, cardiovascular fitness equipment, an advanced weight-training area, locker rooms, a snack bar and a multipurpose banquet room.

Hours of Operation

Mon.-Fri., 5:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Saturday, 7:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Sunday, 12:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m. For more information, call (252) 939-1330 or visit

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Healthy Development

Kinston’s Woodmen Community Center keeps residents active and provides group fitness classes such as kickboxing, yoga, Zumba and water aerobics, as well as swimming lessons.


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Snapshot Kinston’s new fire stations are located in the city’s major growth areas.

“The Woodmen Community Center will dramatically improve the lives of Kinston and Lenoir County residents,” Stolze says. “The state-of-the-art facility will be a beacon for everyone entering Lenoir County who seeks fitness, camaraderie, family activities and community events. Having a facility of this stature will also help recruit business and commerce to the area by offering amenities that were not previously available.” Kinston’s new Lions Water Adventure water park, open during summer months, includes a large pool, an 800-foot lazy river, three water slides from a 36-foot tower and a children’s pool. Admission is included with a membership to Woodmen Community Center. “There were many significant donations by local benefactors that enabled this spectacular project to move forward,” Stolze says. “There is no water park of this magnitude within 150 miles of Lenoir County.” Kinston Fire Stations Kinston’s growth prompted the construction of two new fire

stations, both of which opened in August 2012. Station No. 3 on Hill Farm Road and No. 2 on Carey Road replaced older, outdated stations the city’s fire department had outgrown. They were also relocated to better serve fast-growing areas. “This gives us quicker response times to areas like the Industrial Park,” says Don Crawford, assistant fire chief for the City of Kinston. “The new stations have bi-folding doors that open from the middle to the outside to eliminate trucks hitting overhead doors when responding to calls.” Training space, meeting rooms, sleeping quarters and full sprinkler systems are other components of the new stations. Kinston Veterans Home In December 2012, Kinston veterans and leaders gathered to dedicate a new 111,000-square-foot N.C. State Veterans Home, which began welcoming residents in spring 2013. Funded by federal and state governments, the 100bed veterans home will provide skilled nursing care to Lenoir

Located off Carey Ro ad, Kinston’s Fire Station No. 2 opene d in 2012 as one of the city’s two new stations.

County’s large veteran population. More than a decade in the making, it is expected to employ 175 people. “It appears the community is very excited,” says James Woodard, program director for N.C. State Veterans Homes. “We tried to take the institution feel out of it. For every 12 to 14 residents, there’s a living room with a fireplace, a day room and an eating room. It’s stateof-the-art, with a therapy pool that has underwater cameras and a floor that lowers into the water. We hope to give veterans the best care they can find in North Carolina.”  by Jessica Mozo  by staff photographer Martin B. Cherry Find out more about growth and development in Kinston-Lenoir County at

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LIVING: Education

Education Takes Priority

Students have plenty of new and existing educational opportunities Kinston students are well-educated, and it’s easy to see why. Public, private and charter schools are thriving, and new programs are on the way. Lenoir Community College is in Kinston, which is located near two four-year schools. Public Schools

STEM Education

Lenoir County Public Schools

Lenoir County part of NC stem learning network

Lenoir County Public Schools’ prestigious offerings include the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at Kinston High School, a nationally recognized pre-engineering program at South Lenoir High School and cyber campuses that provide distance learning and video conferencing at three high schools. Each middle and high school offers the AVID( Advancement Via Individual Determination) program, which targets students with average grades and helps them prepare for college. The district is home to five high schools, including Sampson Alternative and Lenoir County Early College at Lenoir Community College, as well as eight elementary schools, three middle schools and a K-8 school.

fast fact The Kinston Winter Bluegrass Festival takes place each February at Lenoir Community College.

Exposing students as early as possible to career opportunities in the region is a primary goal of STEM East, an offshoot of the NC Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Learning Network. The group partners with several corporations who gain the ability to communicate with educators, influence curriculum and introduce needed skills sets to the area. These partners help create educational pathways. Private Schools

college prep, special education Arendell Parrott Academy in Kinston, a K-12 college preparatory school, draws from a nine-county region and is the largest independent school east of Raleigh. Bethel Christian Academy in Kinston, which serves pre-K through 12th-grade students, is a ministry of Bethel Free Will Baptist Church. Nova Five Points Day School works with children 17 years old and younger who have been diagnosed with a mental illness, emotional disturbance or substance-related disorder.

Education Begins Early

photo courtesy of deep run child care

The Partnership for Children of Lenoir and Greene Counties is the area’s early childhood education hub, administering Smart Start and NC Pre-K programming and providing early childhood development resources. Their mission is to develop today’s children to become tomorrow’s leaders. www.partner


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Preparing for College

Arendell Parrott Academy in Kinston enables high school students to take a variety of Advanced Placement courses in subjects such as English, world history, music theory, statistics, biology, environmental science and psychology.

Charter Schools

Children’s village academy, kinston charter academy Founded in 1997, Children’s Village Academy was the first public charter school established in Lenoir County. Children’s Village Academy has small class sizes and uses a variety of strategies and styles to reach all students. Kinston Charter Academy is a public charter school with an academic focus on science, math and Spanish. By Jessica Walker Boehm and Rebecca Denton Find out more about why Kinston-Lenoir County is a great place to learn at

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Kinston Medical Specialists, P.A. Healthy Living Begins with Quality Care

Board-Certified Physicians/Providers Caring Professionals Friendly Facilities Multi-Specialty Eight Locations

701 Doctors Ave., Ste. N • Kinston, NC 28501 • (252) 559-2200


M-F 8 a.m.-12 p.m. and 4-9 p.m. with other hours by appointment only. Sat.-Sun. 1-4 p.m. Class times: 4 p.m./5:30 p.m./7 p.m. with other class times to be announced. Personal trainer on site at all times doors are open. Fundamentals (1:1 classes with Level 1 CrossFit trainer) required. Hammerout Crossfit on Special rates for state employees, police/fire, seniors, students and military.

1201 J. W. Vernon Ave. • Kinston 252-208-1605 • 24

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Family & CosmetiC Dentistry Dr. lyn turner iii Dr. Joey Pesicek Dr. Brandon nicholson

• Implant Restoration • Crown and Bridge • Veneers • Zoom Teeth Whitening • Tooth Colored Restorations • Root Canal Treatment • Periodontics • Minor Oral Surgery • Dentures and Partials

oPen Mon.-Thurs. 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

(252) 523-4151

1104 W. Vernon Ave. Kinston, NC

LIVING: Health

Here’s to Good Health

Lenoir Memorial places priority on serving community Lenoir Memorial Hospital is all about the community it serves. With 261 beds and a medical staff of more than 100 physicians, the nonprofit facility offers a long list of services and technology typically found in hospitals located in major cities. Yet, it maintains a “small-town quality” with personal touches and wellness programs that benefit all within Lenoir, Greene and Jones counties and nearby communities.

Plenty of Services, Programs In addition, Lenoir Memorial Hospital presents a wide range of free health and wellness programs, seminars and screenings. Its Minges Wellness Center is a medically based fitness facility that conducts 25 group exercise classes every week and includes 58 pieces of exercise equipment. Certified fitness instructors are on duty at all times.

Lenoir Memorial Hospital

One of the hospital’s recent community programs has been Lighten Up Lenoir, a team-based weight-loss challenge launched in January 2012. In its first year, the program had some 1,200 people and more than 40 businesses and organizations participating. “It’s been wonderful,” says Constance Hengel, Lenoir Memorial’s director of community programming and development. “There has been real great support from the community. These days, individuals – as well as employers, churches and other organizations – are understanding the importance of good health.” Quick Click to Weight Loss Lighten Up Lenoir, a Web-based program, has three 16-week sessions throughout the course of a year. However, anyone can join at any time. Hengel says 80 percent of participants are part of a fourperson team, but folks can join as individuals as well. “It seems that when people are doing this with their buddies or co-workers or whatever, they’re more motivated,” she says. Judging by some of the teams’ names, it appears “Lighten Up” means more than shedding pounds. “There are some wild, wacky names people are using for their teams,” Hengel says, pointing out Thighsman Trophy Wannabees as an example. By John McBryde

Gary Black, Citizen of the Year Under Gary Black’s leadership for more than 20 years, Lenoir Memorial Hospital has made great strides in offering the region top-quality health care with outstanding physicians, nurses and other staff. That is one reason Black was named Lenoir County’s 2011 Citizen of the Year. As president and CEO of Lenoir Memorial since 1992, Black has had a vision that “has resulted in outstanding clinical outcomes, financial viability, a caring culture of patient service, and strong community service and support,” according to the proclamation honoring him. “Because of his efforts, LMH has been described as one of the ‘Crown Jewels’ of Lenoir County.”

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Community profile


ethnicity 28%






Median Household Income

$86,040 Median Home Price

3% 2%





cost of living

Median Rent for a Two-Bedroom Apartment

 19 and Under  20-54


 55 and Over (percentages based on the total = 22,237)

(percentages based on the total = 22,658)

Transportation Median Travel Time to Work

Temperature January Average Low

July Average High 89°

14 minutes



Closest Airport: Raleigh-Durham International


January Low National Low

July High

Serving Eastern North Carolina Since 1952 COMMERCIAL RESIDENTIAL

National High

95 miles

Proud to be a Part of Lenoir County



4206 W. Vernon Ave. • Kinston, NC 28504 26

Kins ton-Lenoir Count y

(252) 522-2418 •

business: overview

Boosting Business A Mix of New and Old Gives Kinston Business a Boost

Lenoir County boasts a diverse economic base, with a healthy mix of large and small manufacturers and a strong foundation of small businesses, tourism and agriculture.

Big and Small Businesses

healthy mix of industries The downtown areas in Kinston, Pink Hill and La Grange feature one-of-a-kind shops, restaurants and services. A wealth of businesses are located in commercial centers throughout the county including Vernon Park Mall, the Shops of Frenchman’s Creek, downtown Kinston, Herritage Landing and Kinston Plaza Shopping Center. Big business also plays a key role in the county’s economy, and such major employers as Electrolux Home Products, Lenox China, MasterBrand Cabinets, Associated Materials, Hillco LTD, Smithfield Foods and West Pharmaceutical Services call Lenoir County home. Tourism

attractions draw visitors

Buy Local, Support Small Businesses

The Lenoir County Farmers Market supports the area’s agriculture industry by selling local farmers’ goods and produce.

With Lenoir County’s Civil War history, bluegrass roots, AfricanAmerican heritage, performing arts venues, outdoor recreation and sports attractions, tourism is another major economic engine for the county. Restaurants, shops, hotels and other services benefit from visitors who flock here to enjoy the area’s diverse attractions.

Top Companies


Suppliers and Demand

Connected to the Land

Spirit AeroSystems began production in July 2010 at its $570.5 million, 500,000-square-foot facility at the North Carolina Global TransPark and plans to hire another 800 workers within five years. Sanderson Farms invested $121 million in Kinston to build a poultry processing plant, feed mill and hatchery, which created about 1,500 jobs when it opened in January 2011. MasterBrand Cabinets announced that 334 new jobs will be created in the next three years. The growth, spurred by the introduction of a new product line, will more than double the facility’s workforce.

Agriculture plays a big role in the economic development of Lenoir County. Approximately 68 percent of the county’s total personal income consists of agricultural production or service, and farm employment is responsible for 66 percent of the workforce, says Tammy Kelly, county extension director for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension. By Rebecca Denton

Industrial Park

Cutting Edge of Commerce The North Carolina Global TransPark near Kinston covers 2,500 acres and offers access to air, rail, highways and the state’s two international ports. The GTP is growing the aerospace, logistics, manufacturing, emergency services, defense contracting and supporting industries.

Stay plugged into KinstonLenoir County’s business community at livability. com/kinston/nc/business.

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Sonic Boomtown


From aerospace to food, Kinston-Lenoir investments are on an upward trajectory


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conomic development activity is soaring in Kinston and Lenoir County, with recent projects taking flight in such diversified industries as food production and research to pharmaceuticals and aerospace. These advancements illustrate the continued success businesses experience here and the range of jobs available.

Smithfield Packing is starting production at its $85.5 million expansion in 2013, and Spirit AeroSystems began delivering its first center fuselages to France for the Airbus A350 wide body in late 2011. DuPont affiliate Pioneer Hi-Bred completed a 26,000-square-foot research and development center for soybean and corn farming in 2012, while West Pharmaceuticals is investing $29 million to expand its Kinston plant. “Lenoir County’s rebounded well in the environment that’s happened over the last few years,” says Mark Pope, Lenoir County Economic Development executive director. “With the economy where it’s been, we’ve been very blessed.”

In the past five years 11 existing and 11 new companies have announced a combined $1 billion in new investments and the creation of more than 4,100 jobs in the area. Food Production, Research Help Growth Smithfield added 330 jobs, doubling the company’s workforce in Lenoir County with a new hot-dog facility that cranked up in early 2013. Bologna production will follow. Smithfield previously upgraded its ham and lunch-meat facility and is adding a lot of technology, including robotics. “This will be a state-of-the-art hot-dog system, probably one of the latest in this country,” Smithfield official Dennis photo credit Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.

Spirit AeroSystems has a 500,000-square-foot facility in Kinston’s Global TransPark.

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Big Expansions Lead to Job Creation

Smithfield Packing plans to double its workforce in Lenoir County with a new hot-dog facility scheduled to open in 2013. The company is the largest pork processor and hog producer in the United States.

Pittman says. “We’ll be able to produce more hot dogs with a longer shelf life because of the clean room environment that is being set up.” Lenoir Community College has helped find qualified workers, and local leaders have been encouraging and responsive for Smithfield to stay and expand, Pittman says. “We’ve had a good workforce there, a workforce that accepts a new challenge when something new comes along,” he says. “Not only that, the infrastructure seems to be there with the training and all through the community college.” Pioneer Hi-Bred’s new R&D center “shows agriculture is still alive” and “will help farmers develop new ways to farm,” Pope says. “We hope to see more things come with Pioneer and DuPont in the facility at our industrial park.” 30

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Business Spotlight Walter Poole Realty Inc. This real estate agency, which comprises six agents, helps clients purchase and sell residential, commercial and industrial properties, as well as farms and land, in the Lenoir County area.

L. Harvey & Son Company

photo credit Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.

Kinston’s oldest business, L. Harvey & Son Company, was established in 1871. The company is made up of finance, publishing, farming and distribution businesses. (252) 523-9090

Field Controls

Spirit AeroSystems produces materials for the new Airbus A350 XWB.

Sanderson Farms’ poultry complex, which opened in 2011, is at full capacity with 1,562 employees, processing 1.2 million chickens a week, Pope says. Aerospace, Pharmaceutical Firms Expanding Spirit now has almost 400 employees at its Airbus fuselage and wing spar facility, and could add up to 200 new jobs for its Gulfstream wing production. Airbus parts are transported to France, which benefits the North Carolina Global TransPark logistics cluster, Pope says. “Activity has been very good for the county and for the Global TransPark,” Pope says. “We’re seeing folks from North America to international companies looking at both parks. Some of them will be tied to aerospace whether with

Spirit or just aerospace companies seeing some of the success stories of Spirit with the workforce and the training we can do.” Pope says West Pharmaceutical has completed some construction with more to come on its “clean rooms, and upgrading that to a world-class facility.” More jobs and training are on tap for 2013. Adding high-tech industry has inspired the younger generation to focus on education, including STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) labs. “There are good-paying jobs to be had if we just prepare them properly,” Pope says.  by Carol Stuart Learn more about Kinston-Lenoir County’s thriving business climate at

Based in Kinston, Field Controls provides products designed to improve air quality in homes, as well as draft control products, venting systems and more for commercial operations. Jane Wynne, an executive assistant at Field Controls, was the Chamber’s 2011 Ambassador of the Year.

Realo Discount Drugs This pharmacy fills prescriptions in 15 minutes or less and provides local delivery services. Realo Discount Drugs also offers vitamins, minerals and herbs, mobility aids, and home medical equipment.

Corporate Resources Based in Kinston, Corporate Resources sells products, furniture and accessories for offices. It also provides print and digital marketing services, promotional products and more. l i va b i l i t y. c o m / k i n s t o n


We’re serious about Auto Insurance. 252-522-3911

visit our

advertisers Barnet Bethel Christian Academy Chef & the Farmer

CIC Insurance Courtney Mitchell III DDS PA

Jimmy Parks

Farm Bureau Insurance lenoircountyoffice.html

LUTCF® Agent

HammerOut CrossFit Holiday Inn Express Job Link Career Center


Kinston Dental Associates Kinston-Lenoir County Tourism Development Authority

*North Carolina Farm Bureau ® Mutual Insurance Co. *Farm Bureau ® Insurance of North Carolina, Inc. *Southern Farm Bureau ® Life Insurance Co., Jackson, MS *An independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association

Kinston Medical Specialists Kinston Public Services Lenoir Community College


Lenoir County Economic Development Department Lenoir County Public Schools Lenoir Memorial Hospital Lions Industries for the Blind Inc. Mills International Inc. MOEN Mother Earth Brewing

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300 N. Queen St. (252) 527-6929

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107 W. Broadway (252) 568-3161 Also with locations to serve you in Trenton, Snow Hill, Smithfield, New Bern (two), Bridgeton, Cape Carteret, Jacksonville, Surf City and Greenville

Our pharmacy should be your pharmacy A health care partner of Carolina Home Medical


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NES Rentals North Carolina Global TransPark Parrott Insurance Agency Perry Management Poole Realtors Pride of Kinston Realo Discount Drug Store Spring Arbor of Kinston

business: Chamber Report

2020 Vision

Chamber’s new initiative, Lenoir 2020, has sights on business success Through a series of meetings, discussions and plenty of feedback, the Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce worked throughout 2012 to create a vision and a plan to help the area’s business community into 2020 and beyond. Known as Lenoir 2020, it’s a strategic initiative unlike any other for the chamber in recent years. “This is the first year where we worked hard to identify meaningful and necessary projects that can help our business community,” chamber president Laura Lee Sylvester says. The project’s committee first met in February 2012, and identified five focus areas to evaluate: education, housing and amenities, health care, public safety and human relations. By late November, “we were able to come away with concrete projects for the coming year,” Sylvester says. In the education focus, for instance, the committee heard from people in the community with expertise on preschool, school- age, community college and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) emphasis. After the series of discussions, the committee is developing a program that will emphasize education’s connection to manufacturing in the area. People, especially students, could visit a trailer to learn about the different manufacturers and other businesses in Lenoir County, allowing them to discover the types of jobs associated with these businesses and see related courses offered at Lenoir Community College. That is but one example. There are several others for education as well as the other four focus areas. “We want to make sure that Kinston and Lenoir County are attractive to new businesses, expanding businesses and new talent in our community,” Sylvester says.

with Citizen of the Year and Ambassador of the Year awards. Daniel Rice III, director of Woodmen of the World Life Insurance and president of the company’s Kinston Lodge 46, was named the chamber’s 2012 Citizen of the Year. Rice recently retired as director of community services at

the Caswell Center in Kinston and as executive director of the Caswell Center Foundation, Inc. Molly Taylor, outreach coordinator at the Partnership for Children, was 2012’s Ambassador of the Year.

 by John McBryde

Annual Honors For many years, the chamber of commerce has honored residents

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Add us to the list of things you rely on every day!

(252) 527-8077 • ConstruCtion Mro speCialty trade

3207 Carey Rd. • Kinston, NC 28504 (252) 523-3099 •

Mills International Inc.

801 S. Queen St. (252) 527-8083 Kinston, NC 28502 (888) 795-8414

Supporting Lenoir County

1700 Dobbs Farm Rd. Kinston, NC 28504

Health • Life • Long-Term Care • Disability Medicare Supplement • Employee Benefits • Investments


is Our Goal

605 N. Queen St. • Kinston, NC 28501 • (252) 527-6100

A Ribbon of Green Runs Through Every Aspect of Mother Earth Brewing

“Come Relax in Our Peaceful Tap Room and Beer Gardens!

Please visit our online store @


Kins ton-Lenoir Count y

Auto • Home • Life • Commercial Insurance Since 1937

Jake A. Parrott Insurance Agency 2508 N. Heritage St. Kinston, NC 28502 (252) 523-1041 tel • (252) 523-0141 fax •

economic profile



education level  Some College

Top Employers


 Caswell Center, Lenoir County Public Schools, Lenoir Memorial Hospital  Electrolux Home Products, Associated Materials, Inc., Lenoir County, Lenoir Community College

White-Collar Jobs

 Associate Degree


 Bachelor’s Degree

 Hillco LTD, Wal-Mart, City of Kinston

Blue-Collar Jobs

 Master’s Degree


Local Sales Tax


 High School Graduate


household income

$843M Annual Retail Sales

$70M Annual Hotel and Food Sales


500-999 employees

City Sales and Use Tax



300-499 employees



1,000+ employees



 $100,000+ 631

 $30,000-99,999  $29,999 and under



Kinston Regional Jetport (252) 522-4929 Raleigh-Durham International Airport (919) 840-0175


Total Number of Firms

Restaurants Shopping Sightseeing Concerts

LENOIR COMMUNITY COLLEGE Career Planning, Training & Placement Service Serving Lenoir, Greene & Jones Counties (252) 527-7320 • (252) 527-2109 Fax Kinston, NC 28502

Your Source for Downtown Information

327 N. Queen St. • Kinston, NC • (252) 522-4676

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Ad Index

26 Barnet 17 Bethel Christian Academy

23 Lenoir County Public Schools

34 Chef & the Farmer

C4 Lenoir Memorial Hospital

34 CIC Insurance

36 Courtney Mitchell III DDS PA

33 Lions Industries for the Blind Inc.

32 Farm Bureau Insurance

34 Mills International Inc.

24 HammerOut CrossFit


C3 Holiday Inn Express

34 Mother Earth Brewing

35 Job Link Career Center

34 NES Rentals

24 Kinston Dental Associates

C2 North Carolina Global TransPark

13 Kinston-Lenoir County Tourism Development Authority

34 Parrott Insurance Agency

13 Perry Management

24 Kinston Medical Specialists

26 Poole Realtors

35 Pride of Kinston

32 Realo Discount Drug Store

34 Spring Arbor of Kinston

2 Kinston Public Services

15 Lenoir Community College

36 Lenoir County Economic Development Department


2013 edition

volume 6

kinston lenoir county, north carolina

Comprehensive Family and Cosmetic Dentistry “New Patients Welcomed”

Editor | Mitch Kline Contributing Writers | Miles Britton, Rebecca Denton, John McBryde, Jessica Mozo, Carol Stuart Content Coordinator | Jessica Walker Boehm Staff Writer | Kevin Litwin Proofreading Manager | Raven Petty Lead Designer | Erica Lampley Senior Graphic Designers | Stacey Allis, Laura Gallagher, Kris Sexton, Jake Shores, Vikki Williams Graphic Designers | Kara Leiby, Kacey Passmore Creative Technology Analyst | Becca Ary Lead Photographer | Martin B. Cherry Senior Photographers | Jeff Adkins, Brian McCord Staff Photographer | Michael Conti, Wendy Jo O’Barr, Frank Ordonez Color Imaging Technician | Alison Hunter Integrated Media Manager | Steve Murillo Sales Support Project Manager | Sara Quint Sales Support Coordinator | Christina Morgan

• Root Canal Therapy

Ad Production Manager | Katie Middendorf Ad Traffic Assistants | Krystin Lemmon, Patricia Moisan

• Sedation Dentistry

Web Project Manager | David Day Digital Project Manager | Jill Ridenour Digital Product Designer | Erica Lampley Web Development Lead | Yamel Hall Web Developer I | Nels Noseworthy Web Designer II | Richard Stevens Web Product Manager | John Hood Digital Project Manager | Jill Ridenour

• Children’s Dentistry Including Orthodontics • Oral Surgery Including Implants and Restorative Most Insurance Accepted

522-4313 • 2500 N. Herritage St. • Kinston (Professional Center)

Chairman | Greg Thurman President/Publisher | Bob Schwartzman Executive Vice President | Ray Langen Senior V.P./Sales | Todd Potter Senior V.P./Client Development | Jeff Heefner Senior V.P./Operations | Casey Hester Senior V.P./Sales | Jarek Swekosky V.P./Content Operations | Natasha Lorens Audience Development Director | Deanna Nelson Creative Services Director | Christina Carden Distribution Director | Gary Smith Photography Director | Jeffrey S. Otto Web Services Director | Allison Davis Controller | Chris Dudley Senior Accountant | Lisa Owens Accounts Payable Coordinator | Maria McFarland Accounts Receivable Coordinator | Diana Guzman IT Director | Daniel Cantrell Executive Secretary | Kristy Giles Human Resources Manager | Peggy Blake Receptionist | Linda Bishop

Livability: Kinston-Lenoir County, NC is published annually by Journal Communications Inc. and is distributed through the Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce and its member businesses. For advertising information or to direct questions or comments about the magazine, contact Journal Communications Inc. at (615) 771-0080 or by email at For more information, contact: Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce 301 N. Queen St. • Kinston, NC 28502 Phone: (252) 527-1131 • Fax: (252) 527-1914

Lenoir Committee of 100 Inc. 36

K i n sto n - L e n oir C o u n t y

Visit Livability: Kinston-Lenoir County, NC online at ©Copyright 2013 Journal Communications Inc., 725 Cool Springs Blvd., Suite 400, Franklin, TN 37067, (615) 771-0080. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without written consent. Member Member


The Association of Magazine Media Custom Content Council

Member Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce

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Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites 1156 Hill Farm Rd. • Kinston, NC 28504 • (252) 559-8888 • (252) 559-6588 fax l i va b i l i t y. c o m / k i n s t o n C3

Livability Kinston-Lenoir County, NC 2013  
Livability Kinston-Lenoir County, NC 2013  

Kinston is among the oldest cities in North Carolina and is proud of its heritage, which is readily apparent at the area’s many Civil War at...