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Rockingham County is home to the city of Eden, North Carolina. Eden started out as the 70,000 acre estate belonging to a plantation owner named William Byrd II, who called his land "The Land of Eden." He envisioned bringing Swiss Protestants from Switzerland to live in a self-sufficient colony on his land. The closest Byrd came to realizing his dream was a boatload of Swiss Protestants set sail from Switzerland to The Land of Eden, but they were shipwrecked off the coast of Virginia and never made it. He died in August of 1744 without seeing his dream. The community grew up, however, and Patrick Henry was one of the early landowners.

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