Rockingham City Hall is located at 514 Rockingham Road, Rockingham, NC 28379; phone: 910-997-5546.
On June 2, 1784, the North Carolina General Assembly approved an act "establishing and laying out a town in Richmond County by the name of Rockingham." A committee of seven men was appointed and "empowered to agree with workmen for building a court house, prison, and stocks at such place as they, or a majority of them shall agree upon, as near the center of the county as possible, and purchase of the owners of the land selected, 50 acres for erecting and building those public buildings upon." The committee selected fifty acres located on a high, sandy knoll overlooking the convergence of Hitchcock Creek and Falling Creek along the road running from the mountains to Cross Creek as the site to establish the town of Rockingham. The original town design consisted of 76 lots platted in a traditional grid street system with one acre reserved for the courthouse (present site of Harrington Square).
Rockingham grew slowly during the early years following its establishment. In 1843, almost 60 years after the first lots and streets where platted, captain W.I. Everett estimated the town to have 36 dwellings and an approximate population of 150. However, as the industrial revolution swept across America, Rockingham began to emerge as a major textile manufacturing community. From 1860 to 1900 at least eight textile mills were constructed and commenced operations in the areas surrounding Rockingham. By 1920, the population of Rockingham had increased to 2,509 and the textile industry had become a dominant factor in the local economy. The textile industry continued to thrive in Rockingham for the better part of the 20th century. Several of the mill sites are still in use in 2001, and textiles continue to be an important component of the local economy although to a lesser extent.
During the 1960's, Rockingham began to evolve into a regional center for goods and services primarily as a result of its central location for surrounding communities such as Wadesboro, Laurinburg, Cheraw, Bennettsville, and Hamlet. However, transportation improvements and an increasing reliance on automobiles allowed greater accessibility to more metropolitan areas such as Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, Fayettville, and Columbia and limited Rockingham's growth into a major regional center.