A two-state solution, sort of

Andrew Jackson was born in the Waxhaws, on the border between North Carolina and South Carolina; Jackson generally described himself as coming from South Carolina — which is the reason we studied this in South Carolina history — but the surviving town of Waxhaw is on the Tar Heel side of the line.

Jackson was born in 1767. Could this sort of thing still be an issue 250 years later? Of course it can:

Some S.C. residents who went to bed on New Year’s Eve in the Palmetto State will wake up New Year’s Day as North Carolinians.

A two-decade effort using GPS technology to clarify the exact, down-to-the-centimeter border between the Carolinas comes to fruition this year.

The border adjustment, approved by both states, moved 16 people who thought they lived in South Carolina into North Carolina. Three N.C. families now will have S.C. addresses.

“It’s not shifting at all,” former state Sen. Wes Hayes, R-York, said of the 334-mile border. “We just pinned down exactly where the original line was.”

There were some incentives involved:

For example, children whose states of residence changed still can attend their previous public schools, and, for the next 10 years, they also will get in-state tuition at public schools in either state.

A deal also was cut to allow the Lake Wylie Mini Mart — once thought to be in South Carolina but now in North Carolina — to continue selling fireworks and alcohol, and to keep selling gas at South Carolina’s lower tax rate.

So long as the Mart’s owners retain it, anyway: if they ever sell out, the new owners will be subject to North Carolina law.



  1. Roger Green »

    5 January 2017 · 5:34 am

    This story caught my interest because it’s in Union County, adjacent to Mecklenburg County (Charlotte), where my sister and niece live.

  2. McG »

    5 January 2017 · 6:04 pm

    They should have let established usage rule the day: If you thought you were in X Carolina, that’s the Carolina you’re in. Otherwise they’re setting a precedent that could let Georgia claim rights to the Tennessee River.

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