Statesville, North Carolina

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Statesville is located in Iredell County, North Carolina, United States and was named an All-American City in 2009. The population was 23,320 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Iredell County.[3]



In 1753, Scots-Irish Presbyterians and German Lutherans, who originally settled in Pennsylvania, began arriving in Statesville to plant crops in the fertile soil where game and water were also plentiful. The settlement, known as Fourth Creek Congregation, was named for the fresh water stream, which was the fourth creek west of the neighboring settlement of Salisbury. The center of the settlement was a log cabin where the Presbyterians worshiped and where the First Presbyterian Church is located today.

In 1755, the colonial governor Arthur Dobbs authorized the construction of the colony’s frontier fort, which was located approximately three miles due north of the Fourth Creek settlement. Built and garrisoned by North Carolina provincial soldiers, Fort Dobbs defended the British North America’s western frontier in the colony of North Carolina during the French and Indian War. Fort Dobbs combined the functions of a military barracks, fortification, refuge for settlers, provisioning depot and center for negotiations with native Americans.

The state legislature divided Rowan County in 1788, and the new county was named Iredell for James Iredell, associate justice of the first Supreme Court during the presidency of George Washington.

One year later, the legislature selected a spot for the county seat. The Fourth Creek Congregation was chosen, and the settlement became known as Statesville.

As early as 1833, Statesville's leaders began laying track for railroads to connect the Piedmont area of North Carolina with the rest of the country.

Statesville served as the temporary capital of North Carolina during the final months of the Civil War when Union troops occupied Raleigh and forced Gov. Zebulon Vance to relocate the confederate state government.

By 1858, Statesville was growing rapidly and soon afterward began leading the state in the production of tobacco and tobacco products, the manufacture and blending of whiskey, and became a large distribution center for roots and herbs.

Points of interest

  • Congregation Emanuel is one of fewer than a hundred nineteenth-century synagogue buildings still standing in the United States.
  • Diamond Hill Baptist Church. A Southern Baptist congregation located at, 2320 East Broad St.
  • Fort Dobbs State Hisoric site. The only North Carolina Historic Site associated with the French Indian War.[4]
  • Mitchell Community College. Founded as a Presbyterian women's college in 1852, Mitchell is now a public community college. In the 2008-2009 year, Mitchell became the first community college in the United States to be accepted into NASA's University Student Launch Initiative competition, and the Mitchell rocket team placed 8th out of 28 teams. In 2009-2010, Mitchell was accepted again. The 2009-2010 team's project was "The Effects of Air Ionization on the Shock-wave within a Converging-Diverging Nozzle." This team earned 4th place in the overall competition.
  • Statesville was home to a minor league baseball team, Statesville Owls, from 1939 until 1963. They played in several leagues over the years including the Tar Heel League (1939–1940), North Carolina State League (1942, 1947–1952), Western Carolina League (1960–1962), and Western Carolinas League (1963). They were league champions in their respective league in 1940, 1948, and 1962.[5] The field was located at Statesville Senior High School and thus named Senior High Stadium.[6] The field is still used (all though altered over the years) by the high school's baseball team. The team which has since returned as a Summer league Collegiate Baseball team still plays at Statesville Senior High. The team's inaugural season was 2010 and the team plays in the Southern Collegiate Baseball League.
  • Wayside Elementary School was an elementary school located off Salisbury Road in Eastern Statesville. The current school building opened in 1941 and closed in 2002 when Wayside School and Alan D. Rutherford School merged to form Third Creek Elementary. The former Wayside building is currently home to the UAW 3520 headquarters while the former Alan D. Rutherford site is home to the Iredell-Statesville Schools Administrative Annex now know as the Alan D. Rutherford Education Building.

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