History of Mooresville, NC

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top 10 things to do in mooresville nc

Mooresville, NC is located in the southwest section of Iredell County in the growing Charlotte metropolitan area. It is approximately 25 miles north of Charlotte and 16 miles south of Statesville. Today, the town is home to around 39,000 residents. As a primary care physician in Mooresville, Blue Skies Family Medicine is proud to offer direct primary care to patients in the area.

Moving from Railroads to Races

Originally settled by German, English, and Scot-Irish settlers, Mooresville, NC was established by families moving into the area from nearby parts of North Carolina, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Settlers started to arrive as early as the mid-1700s in an effort to grow and establish farms in the area.

Beginning as a Railroad Town

As the area became more developed, a railroad was built in 1856. The depot was set up on land owned by John Franklin Moore, who would eventually become the namesake for the town. Moore encouraged others to turn the area into a small village which became known as Moore’s Siding. 

Although the Civil War hampered growth at the time when the tracks were removed to help the Confederate Army, the railroad was returned shortly after the war, and growth of the village resumed. 

The town of Mooresville was incorporated in 1873. Factories, a new railroad depot, a water plant, library, phone company, and more were established as the town grew and welcomed new families.

Cotton Mill

Farming, the railroad, and the influx of people brought more growth and development to Mooresville. With the new growth, the textile, or cotton, industry made its way into the area. The earliest records indicate that Mooresville’s first cotton mill was developed in 1892 by James Sherrill and a group of investors. Homes for workers were constructed near the original mill. 

The cotton mill created jobs and produced various textiles including linens, upholstery fabrics, and clothes. The building is still located on North Church Street but is now known as the Mooresville Executive Offices. 

The original cotton mill was booming! So much so that within 7 years, construction began on a second mill known as Mill No. 2. The textile industry took off and is responsible for transforming Mooresville’s identity into a booming cotton mill town

Development of Business and Industry

Main Street was once the heart of the business industry in Mooresville. The railroad tracks run parallel to Main and Broad Streets. The original train depot was built at Main Street and Center Avenue. In the 1920s, this was replaced by the Southern Railroad passenger station. (This station is now the Mooresville Art Gallery.) 

Businesses thrived in downtown Mooresville and the area was once a popular shopping destination. Although some businesses have closed their doors over the years, others have remained open, though the owners may have changed with time.

With the growth and development of the area and transportation infrastructure, downtown Mooresville died down. The greater Mooresville area is a port city for Lake Norman so shopping and businesses moved to strip malls and business complexes along NC Highway 150 and closer to the interstate.

Mooresville Today

Today, Mooresville is part of the fast-growing Charlotte metropolitan area and is the largest municipality in Iredell County. The area has grown from a farming community to a booming cotton mill town and now to Race City USA. Mooresville is home to many Nascar drivers, IndyCar teams, and racing technology.

True to its nickname, the town showcases race tracks, race museums, the North Carolina Racing Hall of Fame, racing facilities, and even indoor go kart racing for the racer inside us all. These sites bring in tourists from all over the country each year.

Things to Do in Mooresville

While racing activities are a large draw for the town today, Mooresville has something to offer everyone. From shopping to museums, farms and plantations to general history, Mooresville is a family-friendly town. Visit a park. Go to Lake Norman, take in the beauty of the great outdoors, and get a breath of fresh air. Indulge in your need for speed at the race tracks. Explore the arts. 

Enjoy the history, culture, and beauty of the area as you find unique things to do in Mooresville, NC.

Visit Mooresville, NC

Whether you are a visitor or local, single or part of a family with kids, Mooresville has much to offer the explorer or history buff. Visit Mooresville, NC. Take in the history, shopping, and scenery as you explore the area. Your one-of-a-kind experiences and adventures await!

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