State Borders
9:22 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Carolinas Will Continue To Wait For Official State Lines

The last remaining points on the map left to be determined is along the border where Dillon County, North Carolina connects with Robeson County, North Carolina.
The last remaining points on the map left to be determined is along the border where Dillon County, North Carolina connects with Robeson County, North Carolina.
Credit Courtesy of the State of North Carolina

Surveyors have been working for nearly 20 years to determine the exact path of the North Carolina and South Carolina border. And it will still be another few months before we know the official state lines. 

Alex Rankin has been walking and hiking much of the state line with his team for the last 12 years. He's president of the Concord engineering and surveying firm commissioned to rediscover the state boundary that was first drawn in the 1700s.       

"What we're doing is looking for the best historical evidence of where the state line was established when the original surveys were run," Rankin says. "There's a limited number of those points available, so generally what we're winding up with is a point that we have high confidence in, every mile or two along the line."

He says they're almost done, but not quite. His firm has about 20 to 30 miles of fieldwork left along the border that connects Dillon County, South Carolina and Robeson County, North Carolina.

He expects to be done by the end of the year. The findings will then be presented for approval from the Joint Boundary Commission. Here's co-chairman Gary Thompson. He represents North Carolina.

"One of the things that we've committed to do is look at all details to make sure we're minimizing the impact to the property owners," Thompson says. "And so it's critical that we do that and that's the reason we rescheduled the meeting till the spring time."

The commission has heard from dozens of South Carolina residents who learned their homes are actually in North Carolina. So that means new addresses, driver's licenses and tax rates and of course adjusting to a new identity.

Legislation will be needed to make special accommodations for affected residents – like allowing them to continue to stay in their school districts.