LAND AREA: 471.57 square miles
2013 POPULATION ESTIMATE: 81,990
Black/African American: 5.1%
American Indian: 0.6%
Pacific Islander: 0.1%
Two or more races: 1.4%
Hispanic/Latino: 4.9% (of any race)
From State & County QuickFacts, US Census Bureau, 2014.
Caldwell County, located in the Mountain region of western North Carolina, was formed from Burke and Wilkes Counties in 1841. It was named for Joseph Caldwell, the first president of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Early inhabitants of Caldwell County included Cherokee and Siouan Indians, followed by German, Scotch-Irish, and English settlers. The county seat, Lenoir, was incorporated in 1851 and named for Revolutionary War general William Lenoir. Other communities in Caldwell County include Hudson, Granite Falls, Rhodhiss (on the Burke County line), Cajah Mountain, and Gamewell. Part of Blowing Rock is also in Caldwell County.
The mountainous terrain attracts thousands of tourists to Caldwell County each year, and a large portion of the county is covered by the Blue Ridge Mountains and Pisgah National Forest. The Catawba, Yadkin, and Little Rivers flow through the county.
Caldwell County is one of the leading producers of furniture in the world. Other manufactured products include labels and tape, twines, yarn, and thread and cordage. Agricultural products from Caldwell County include broilers, hatching eggs, hay, soybeans, oats, barley, and landscape nursery plants.
Historic sites in Caldwell County include the county courthouse, constructed in 1905; Fort Defiance (1790), the home of General Lenoir; the Eli Corpening House, built in 1856; and Little House, built in 1872. Cultural institutions include the Foothills Performing Arts Community Theatre, the Unifour Jazz Ensemble, and the Caldwell County Heritage Museum. The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail traverses the county. In 2004 the population of Caldwell County was estimated to be 78,500.
Caldwell County Government: http://www.caldwellcountync.org/
Caldwell County Chamber of Commerce: http://www.caldwellcochamber.org/
DigitalNC, Caldwell County: http://digitalnc.org/counties/caldwell-county
Rudersdorf, Amy. 2010. "NC County Maps." Government & Heritage Library, State Library of North Carolina.
1 January 2006 | Mazzocchi, Jay