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Swain County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of 2000, the population was 12,968. Its county seat is Bryson City.

Swain County is home of the Nantahala River (along with Macon County, North Carolina). The Nantahala is one of the most popular whitewater rafting rivers in the nation.

The county was formed in 1871 from parts of Jackson County and Macon County. It was named for David L. Swain, governor of North Carolina from 1832 to 1835, and president of the University of North Carolina from 1835 to 1868.

In 2004, the Swain County High School football team captured its seventh state football championship. The Maroon Devils as a team won three consecutive state championships (1988, 1989, 1990) several honorable players were on this team while being led by former University of Tennessee and National Football League quarterback and current U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler (Source: North Carolina High School Athletic Association).

In 2006, the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NC-200610) was established at Swain County High School. The unit was created to educate and train high school cadets in citizenship, promote community service, instill responsibility, character, and self-discipline, and provide instruction in air and space fundamentals.

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