Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sweet Union


We recently moved to Union County, North Carolina. I always wondered why Union County was named Union County. After all, North Carolina was a Confederate state during the U.S. Civil War back in the 1860s. There's even a statue in front of the old Union County courthouse dedicated to the local Confederate soldiers. So why is the county called Union?


I didn't know, so I looked it up. Wikipedia says that Union County was formed in 1842 and that the name "Union" was a compromise between two political groups. One of the groups wanted to name the new county (which was formed from part of Mecklenburg, where Charlotte is, and Anson) Clay county after Henry Clay. The other group wanted to name it Jackson, after Andrew Jackson. (I'm not sure what the Henry Clay connection to the area is, but Andrew Jackson was born near the town of Waxhaw, North Carolina, which is in Union County.)

Regardless of how it came to be called Union, it's the fastest growing county in the state of North Carolina. Seriously, the growth here over the last decade has been phenomenal. OK, so it doesn't have all the fancy citified perks of its urban neighbor to the west. And true, it's a little inconvenient to have to drive all the way to Monroe (the county seat) to take care of certain business, instead of driving to Charlotte. But as I learned recently when I had to go there to get the water service transferred to my name, things are sweet here.

The courthouse is sweet. The little downtown is sweet. And the iced tea . . . you get the point.

So I couldn't help but smile as I walked back to my car after taking care of that business with the water company: The security guard had reminded me of Sheriff Andy Taylor (from the old TV show The Andy Griffith Show); there was no line/no wait at the counter of the water department, and James Taylor's "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" was playing on outdoor speakers. This, I reasoned, must be why Union County is called "Sweet Union" by the natives.

And so far, I have to agree. How sweet is is, indeed.