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Discover the history of Mooresville!

On March 3, 1873, the North Carolina General Assembly approved the Charter for the Incorporation of the Town of Mooresville. J.R. McNeely was appointed the first Mayor and M.M. Culp was appointed the first Town Clerk. The first Town Board election was held on the first Monday in May 1873, at which time Isaac Harris became Mayor. The Town limits were marked off in a one-mile radius from the Depot and James Kerr was hired to “lay off and make a plot of the place.” The first two named streets were Public Road (now Main Street) and Main Cross Street (now Center Avenue). 

The railroad was already in place by the 1850s, before the town’s incorporation. It was taken up during the Civil War and replaced around 1872. With the return of railroad, the small town began to grow. The fire department began operating in 1885 with a small group of volunteer firemen and equipment purchased by the Town. The police department was started in 1887 when the Town hired two policemen to patrol at night, and the first Town Hall was built around 1910.

Some of the earliest businesses include D.E. Turner Hardware, Templeton and Williams Ginnery, Lorne Cotton Seed Mill, Big Oak Rolling Mill (now Bay State Milling), Mooresville Cotton Mills, and Mooresville Creamery. Of these businesses, only D.E. Turner’s and Bay State Milling are still in operation. 

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