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Introducing the Overlooked Columbia

Caden Halberg

Although there are many cities and towns in the United States with the name Columbia, the town in North Carolina with the same name is a town that, in many peoples’ eyes, deserves more recognition. One of these people is David Clegg, the County Manager for Tyrrell County, which is the County that Columbia, North Carolina is located in. 


I had the opportunity to speak with Clegg in late September 2023 to learn more about what makes Columbia such a unique place. 


We began by discussing what could help draw visitors to Columbia. According to Clegg, Tyrrell County has the smallest population of all the counties in North Carolina. This means that the state owns most of the land, and as a result, this land and the ecosystems on it are extremely protected from the public. Specifically, Columbia is known for its wetland ecosystems. These wetlands even allow for the survival of rare animal and plant species such as the black bear, swan, Red Wolf, and pitcher plant!


Columbia is also known for its waterways. The two waterways that we discussed, the Scuppernong River and the Albemarle Sound, play important roles in the community around Columbia. According to Clegg, the Albemarle Sound is known for its blue crab population while the Scuppernong River Festival is popular for fishing, hunting, and kayaking.


Even though there are many incredible things about Columbia, Clegg does point out that there are a few negative things about Columbia, one of which is the lack of food options available for visitors. Due to the size of Columbia, Clegg says “It is true that amenities are an issue. Except for a few Hispanic restaurants and rib restaurants, fine dining is a problem.” 


Regardless of the struggles that some may connect with Columbia, Clegg believes that problems such as this are not the complete identity of this town. “Columbia has been and will continue to be a beautiful place. Anyone who likes the outdoors or appreciates unique wildlife should visit Columbia.”

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