Caldwell County

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Cities/Towns: Baton - Cajah's Mountain - Cedar Rock - Collettsville - Edgemont - Gamewell - Globe - Granite Falls - Hudson - Kings Creek - Lenoir* - Rhodhiss - Sawmills - Patterson - Upton

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Caldwell County is Furniture Capital of the country.



A Brief History of the Formation of Caldwell County

Source: History

Caldwell County, carved from the counties of Burke and Wilkes, was actually formed in January 1841, several weeks after the bill was introduced in the legislature.

The bill to establish the county was rejected in 1839 because a faction within the state legislature wished to form two Democratic counties instead of one Whig county. The bill was reintroduced by Representative Elisha P. Miller on November 19, 1840. The bill of 1840 proposed to establish a county from Burke and Wilkes to be named Boone.

It was first read and rejected on December 5, 1840. It was read a second time and passed by the casting vote of the Speaker, Robert B. Gilliam on December 14, 1840. There was some confusion over the selection of the name, however, but when Charles Manley, Clerk of the House, suggested to Representative Miller that the county be named for Dr. Joseph Caldwell, former President of the University of North Carolina and advocator of a public school system and a railroad system stretching from Morehead City through the questioned county to Tennessee, the bill was ratified and signed on January 11, 1841.



1771 The region’s settlers petitioned for creation of a new county.

1790 The Caldwell area had a population of about 2,675

1791 Caldwell’s first industries were located on Gunpowder Creek, near Granite Falls. Here the Pierce Iron Forge was erected and gunpowder was manufactured for the patriots.

1825 Tucker’s Barn area became the seat of government of the new county.

1850 A toll road was built across the Blue Ridge to Blowing Rock – a road that is now U.S. Highway 321.

1878 Grist and sawmills were developed along streams within the county. The county had 51 grain mills, 41 sawmills and 5 furniture shops, 8 tanneries, a pottery, an implement factory, four gold mines and innumerable iron ore beds.

1884 The Chester and Lenoir Railway (a narrow gauge) came to the county.

1889 The first modern furniture factories were organized.

1910 There were 2,548 farms in the county.

1938 Caldwell was one of the first counties to achieve a rural electrification program.


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