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Yadkin River and the Trading Ford

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The Yadkin River

The Yadkin River of North Carolina begins near Blowing Rock in the northwestern portion of the state. Much of the river is held by several dams today, which are important for hydroelectric power and flood control. The Yadkin becomes the Pee Dee River below the last North Carolina dam at Lilesville and flows into South Carolina near Cheraw, which is at the fall line (the area where an upland region and a coastal plain meet. It continues to flow into the Atlantic Ocean at Georgetown South Carolina. North Carolina's portion of the Yadkin River basin covers 7,200 square miles of land area and contains nearly 6,000 square miles of freshwater streams and rivers. The Yadkin/Pee-Dee River system is the second largest in eastern America. Today, by some estimates, one third of the Yadkin River consists of processed wastewater by the time it leaves North Carolina.

In the upper regions of the river, Moravian settlers from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania began the Wachovia colony in 1753. Between then and the Revolutionary War, thousands of settlers came from Pennsylvania. They were of mostly German and Scots-Irish decent.

The South Fork of the Yadkin River rises in Alexander County and flows southeast across Iredell County and to the Davie Rowan County Lined where it joins the Yadkin at an area just above Salisbury in an area often referred to as the Forks of the Yadkin.  The Forks area was one of the earliest areas of Rowan County to be settled.   

The river is extensively used for recreation. Fishing consists mostly of sunfish, catfish and bass in the spring and early summer. Canoeing and rafting are also possible. A portion of the river is part of the Pilot Mountain State Park.  Water supplies for many communities in North and South Carolina are taken from the Yadkin/Pee Dee and during drought years, the division of the water is a contentious issue.


“Yadkin River” Wikipedia

Rights, Douglas L. A Voyage Down the Yadkin-Great Peedee River Winston-Salem, North Carolina 1928