Richmond County, founded in 1779, had its beginning with cotton and indigo plantations. The rich, clay soil along the Pee Dee River supported and built some of North Carolina's most successful antebellum plantations. Many historic homes of yesteryear have been preserved, giving the area great character and charm. For the outdoor and wildlife enthusiast, Richmond County offers unending opportunities. Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge has more than 3,000 acres of migratory bird feeding grounds. Richmond County is both industrially and agriculturally active. The two race tracks make Richmond County a tourist destination with more than 250,000 people annually attending events. Richmond County is the home of the North Carolina Speedway and the Rockingham Dragway, both affectionately known as "The Rock."