Lexington, North Carolina

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Lexington is the county seat of Davidson County, North Carolina, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 19,953. It is located in central North Carolina, twenty miles (32 km) south of Winston-Salem. Major highways include I-85, U.S. Route 29, U.S. Route 70, U.S. Route 52 (soon to be I-285) and U.S. Route 64. Lexington is part of the Piedmont Triad region of the state.

Lexington, Thomasville, and the rural areas surrounding them are slowly turning into bedroom communities for nearby cities such as Winston-Salem, Greensboro and High Point.

Contents

History

The Lexington area was at least sparsely settled by Europeans in 1775. The settlers named their community in honor of Lexington, Massachusetts, the site of the first skirmish of the American Revolutionary War. Lexington was incorporated as a city in 1828. Until the late 1990s, Lexington's economy was mainly textile and furniture manufacturing-based. Since then, most local manufacturers have moved their production facilities to Asia and Mexico as a way to reduce costs and remain competitive in a global market. This caused the closure of most textile and furniture factories and has contributed to economic difficulties for a community that was heavily dependent on these two industries for employment.

Silver Hill Mine, located a few miles south of Lexington, opened in 1838, and was the first operating silver mine in the country.[citation needed]

The oldest remaining house in Lexington is The Homestead, built by Dr. William Rainey Holt (1798–1868), a physician born in what is today Alamance County.[3] The Homestead has windows, sidelights and other Palladian details characteristic of the pattern books of architect Asher Benjamin.[4] The home's owner was a Pennsylvania-trained physician who practiced medicine after relocating to Davidson County. An ardent Secessionist, Dr. Holt lost three sons during the Civil War and his home was occupied by Union Army soldiers. Following the War, Holt spent an increasing amount of time at his plantation Linwood, located southwest of Lexington, where he operated a scientific farm on his 1,600 acres (6.5 km2), and where, as President of the North Carolina Agricultural Society, Holt was among the first to introduce purebred breeds of livestock to North Carolina.[5]

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