Pittsboro, North Carolina is a town located in Chatham County, 34 miles southwest of Raleigh, 47 miles southeast of Greensboro, and 17 miles south of Chapel Hill. The population was 3,743 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Chatham County.
Pittsboro was established as a town in 1785. The Chatham County Court House stood on land belonging to Miles Scurlock; however, in 1787, the legislature declared that a town could not be established on Scurlock’s land. The town’s trustees instead purchased adjacent land belonging to William Petty and laid out the town. That same year, Pittsboro was officially named the county seat. Although Chatham County is named for William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, Pittsboro is named for his son, William Pitt the Younger.
Pittsboro was once considered as a potential site for both the University of North Carolina and the state capitol. UNC was eventually sited in Chapel Hill, while the state capitol was located approximately 34 miles to the northeast of Pittsboro, in Raleigh.
Charles M. Stedman, the last Civil War veteran to serve in Congress, was born in Pittsboro on January 29, 1841.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2), of which, 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (0.89 percent) is water.
Pittsboro is located twelve miles from Chapel Hill and the University of North Carolina, twenty-five miles from Durham, Duke and NC Central Universities, and thirty five miles from Raleigh, the state capital, NC State University, Meredith and Peace Colleges. At the geographic center of the state, it is one hundred fifty miles from Wilmington at the coast and the same from Boone in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Jordan Lake is five miles east, providing recreation, fishing, boating and scenic panoramas. The lake is fourteen thousand acres of surface and provides water for Raleigh and the town of Cary.
Once home to textiles, the largest clothing label mill in the world, and poultry, it now depends on commuter income, retail stores and a developing business in genetics. Housing developments provide relief from loss of industry as the town adjusts to a new economy.
The water supply is abundant, derived from the Haw River and, in the future, Jordan Lake. In 2010, the wastewater allotment was expanded. Being fifteen and twenty-five miles from major power plants, the supply of power is plentiful. Major corridor highways, US 15-501 and US 64, a four lane divided highway, intersect there.
Pittsboro is home to the Chatham county government and many non-profit agencies.