Greensboro was established in 1808 as Guilfords county seat on a site selected not for natural advantages but for its location at the exact geographic center. In fact, the site had disadvantages since it was in a low area covered by water with ducks swimming where the town should be built. There is a marker in Fisher Park east of Elm that cites this history. Forty-two acres were purchased from Ralph Gorrell for $98 and the town was laid out in blocks of lots. Originally it was a paper town without buildings or residents, named for a Revolutionary War hero Nathanael Greene.