January 1789, Statesville
was founded by an act of the General Assembly after North Carolina
joined the United States. While the history of Statesville is
vague, it is believed to be originally named "the
The first courthouse was constructed in 1790 and built on a
lot purchased from Fergus Sloan next to the Fourth Creek Presbyterian
Meeting house, an area most of us have come to call "the
square". Lots around the courthouse were sold at public
auction for other business, thus beginning downtown Statesville.
Two miles north of Statesville was Fort Dobbs. The fort was
to defend the forefront of civilization from 1756 to approximately
1764. Statesville was considered to be the center of the
district of the Revolutionary War. In 1847 Statesville was incorporated
as a city.
The Western North Carolina railroad, was the first railroad
to reach Statesville in 1858, by linking Salisbury to Asheville.
Shortly after the Western service began, the Atlantic, Tennessee
& Ohio Railroad (ATO) started serving the Statesville to
Charlotte line. Originally there were two Depots for the two
separate lines but bother were burned down in the late 1800's
during the Civil war and later rebuilt.
The greatest growth
for Statesville came between the period from 1860's to the 1930's.
The railroad brought finished and raw goods and carried out
finished goods to be sold in other cities. It also allowed people
to be connected to other parts of the world and to allow visitors
to come to visit.
of Tom Dooley", by the Kingston Trio, made the Depot
Hill area famous for hangings in the region. The song
was the story of a love triangle and a trial for murder which
resulted in Tom Dula's hanging. Tom Dula is buried in Wilkes
At the turn of the
century industries were based around three primary products:
Herbs, tobacco and liquor. Herbs were shipped from the Wallace
Herbarium on Meeting Street to all over the world. The liquor
and tobacco money built many of the downtown buildings.
has five National Register of Historic Place Districts including
four residential districts: Broad Street/Davie Avenue, Mitchell
College, Academy Hill, Race Street and the Downtown Statesville
City of Statesville
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