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Burlington is a city in Alamance county in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is the principal city of the Burlington, North Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses all of Alamance County, in which most of the city is located. The population was 44,917 at the 2000 census. According to Census estimates, the city population in 2007 was nearly 50,000, and the Metropolitan Statistical Area population was nearly 150,000 in 2008. The city hosts the Burlington Royals baseball club of the Appalachian League. Burlington is part of the Piedmont Triad region of the state. Burlington is home to the Burlington Athletic Stadium where scenes from the movie Bull Durham were filmed.
LabCorp, one of the largest clinical laboratory companies in the world, has its headquarters and several testing facilities in Burlington. LabCorp is Alamance County's largest employer, employing over 3,000 people in the county.
Honda Aero, a subsidiary of Honda, recently announced that it will move its corporate headquarters to Burlington and build a $27 million plant at the Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport where it will build its HF120 jet engines for use in very light jets.
Biscuitville, a regional fast food chain, is based in Burlington. Burlington is also the operations headquarters for Gold Toe Brands, a manufacturer of socks.
The Times-News (Burlington, North Carolina), Burlington's only daily newspaper, and the area's dominant media outlet.
Alamance County was created when Orange County was partitioned in 1849. Early settlers included several groups of Quakers, many of which remain active in the Snow Camp area, German farmers, and Scots-Irish immigrants. Alamance County, where Burlington is located, is the site of several skirmishes that were part of the American Revolution. These include the War of the Regulation, which took place prior to the actual Revolution, when citizens rebelled against the corrupt British Colonial Government, the Battle of Lindley's Mill, the Battle of Clapp's Mill, and Pyle's Defeat.
The Holt family was instrumental in building several different textile mills in Burlington and the surrounding towns. These textile mills provided much of the economic base on which the county would grow.
The need of the North Carolina Railroad Company in the 1850s to locate land where they could build, repair and do maintenance on its track was the genesis of Burlington, North Carolina. The Company selected a piece of land slightly west of present day Graham, North Carolina.
By the time the shops were completed in 1857, the village had grown to twenty-seven buildings. Thirty-nine white men, twenty Negro slaves and two free Negroes were employed in or around the shops. The employees and their families needed to live within walking distance; hence, a town began to develop. The town was called “Company Shops”.
Sale of town lots soon started, but not surprisingly, the sale of lots was slow until after the Civil War. By 1864, Company Shops numbered about 300 persons.
In 1886, the North Carolina Railroad Company transferred its operations to Manchester, Virginia. The railroad offices and shops at Company Shops were closed. With the railroad shops no longer operated there, the citizens of Company Shops decided a new name was needed. In February 1887 a committee of the town’s leading citizens selected “Burlington”.
The city of Burlington was incorporated and a charter was issued by the State Legislature on February 14, 1893.