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In 1779 portions of Chowan County, Hertford County and Perquimans County became known as Gates County. The county was named after a victorious General who commanded the American forces at the Battle of Saratoga, General Horatio Gates.

Gatesville is the county seat of Gates County. The county covers an area of 346 square miles. Gates County is rich in history beginning as far back as 1585 and continuing through to the year 2007 when it was announced in September that the United States Navy had plans to build an Outlying Landing Field in Northeastern North Carolina.

A portion of the Great Dismal Swamp is located within the boundaries of Gates County. Gates County gets most of its revenue from the areas agriculture and forest products.

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