Pembroke is located in Robeson County in southeastern North Carolina and is approximately 7 miles from the intersection of U.S. Highway 74 and Interstate 95 at Lumberton. The Pembroke area is approximately 1.5 hours south of Raleigh and 1.5 hours north of the North and South Carolina beaches and two hours east of Charlotte.
Lumbertonsits on I-95 in southeastern North Carolina. It is North Carolina’s last city on one of the country’s busiest interstates and sits 30 minutes north of the South Carolina border. To many travelers who stop along the I-95 corridor, Lumberton is the mid-point between New York and Florida. This ideal traveling location makes Lumberton a likely place to dine, shop, and spend the night before continuing onto a final vacation destination.In 2000 travelers spent more than $87.68 million dollars in Robeson County, a 11-12% increase over 1996, says the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) in their annual study which tracks tourism expenditures, payroll, employment, and state and local tax receipts for each of North Carolina’s 100 counties. The study, released by the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development, ranked Robeson County 29th in total travel expenditures statewide.

Pembroke‘s population was 2,399, at the 2000 census, 89% of which was American Indian. The town of Pembroke is the focal point for Lumbee tribal commerce, culture and education. The campus of UNC-Pembroke has the most diverse student population of any campus in the University of North Carolina system. The business and industry of the town and its surrounding communities, and the population of UNC-Pembroke and the local economy, creates a trade market that numbers well over 50,000 shoppers. There is an excellent transportation system in the area (highways I-95 and US 74, railroads and Fayetteville Regional airport), which gives direct access to major North Carolina cities.
HISTORY. Earliest Period

Archaeological excavations now being performed throughout Robeson County reveal a long and rich history of widespread and consistent occupation, especially near the Lumbee, or Lumber River since the end of the last Ice Age. The Lumbee, or Lumber River winds its way through Pembroke. Indeed, precursor settlements to what is now Pembroke sprung up alongside the river’s banks, and artifacts found there have been dated to the early Woodland period. This suggests that Native American settlements along the river were part of an extensive trade network with other regions of what is now the Southeast of the United States. After colonial contact, European-made items, such as kaolin tobacco pipes, were traded by the Spanish, French, and the English to Native American peoples of the coast, and found their way within Pembroke’s reach long before Europeans established their settlements.

Swamps, streams, and artesian wells provided an excellent supply of water for Native peoples. Fish was plentiful, and the regions lush vegetation included numerous food crops. “Carolina bays,” creeks, swamps, pocosins, and longleaf pines continue to mark the distinctive wetland landscape of Pembroke.

In 1725, colonial English surveyors for the Wineau factory mapped a village of Waccamaw Siouan Indians on the Lumber River, a few miles west of present-day Pembroke. In 1754, North Carolina Governor Arthur Dobbs received a report from his agent, Col. Rutherford, the head of a Bladen County militia, that a settlement of 50 Indian families were living along Drowning Creek and in the same vicinity of the Siouan Waccamaw settlement. These are the first written accounts of the Native Americans from whom the Lumbee tribe descend.

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