African American Genealogy Resources
“Cerro Gordo” a little town lying between Chadbourn and Fair Bluff on U. S. Highway 74, has a good
school, churches, stores and a scattering of homes.
E. P. Holmes, who digs into odd names, once wrote that it was named by two Mexicans who came through
on the train and admired the town site. The word means in Spanish, “large round hill”.
But the more likely version says that the railway track being built west reached the site on date of the battle
of Cerro Gordo during the War with Mexico.
The town settlement is an old one, incorporated in 1975. In 1905 a new lumber mill perked the town up, but
a fire in 1915 wiped out the enterprise and Cerro Gordo “never recovered from the loss”.
Mt. Tabor Baptist Church is outstanding in the Negro community. It was organized in 1914. The school was
organized about the same time, but was later consolidated with Westside School of Chadbourn. Some of
the Deacons serving in the church have been: Messrs: E. V. Geralds Sr., Haywood Smith, Cata Ceasar, Bill
Vann, Paul Geralds and Owen Gowens.
Pastors of the past and present have are: Rev: Wooten, Rev. Thompson, Rev. Borkins, Rev. M. Lewis, and
Rev. A. C. Jones.
Columbus County’s representative in the N. C. Legislature at present is the Hon. A. W. Williams of Cerro
Most of the families living in Cerro Gordo have been there 60 or more years.
In interviews made, it was mentioned that the following persons served as principals of the school: Ezra
Lennon, G. Willie Jones, Mrs. H. M. Graham, Mrs. E. B. Cooper, Mr. Fred J. Corbett and Mr. Ford of Mt. Olive.
The town of Cerro Gordo has a population of 306 according to the last census.
|Cerro Gordo, N.C.
Compiled by the Eighth Grade Chapter of the Tarheel
Junior Historian Association of Westside High School
Chadbourn, NC 1961-62
|Compiled by the
Eighth Grade Chapter of the Tarheel Junior Historian Association of
Westside High School