EDITION: Iredell County
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Iredell County :: Mooresville, Statesville, Harmony, Love Valley, and Troutman

Iredell County is located in North Carolina. As of 2010, the population was 159,437. Its county seat is Statesville.

It is a major hub of NASCAR racing, with many race shops located in the county (mostly around Mooresville). NASCAR also operates the NASCAR Technical Institute Universal Technical Institute operates NASCAR Tech under licensing agreements. The school offers racing-related instruction to prepare the student for their job search in the racing industry. Many NASCAR drivers live around Mooresville and Lake Norman. Although northern Iredell County has retained much of its rural character, the southern half of the county is experiencing rapid suburbanization and population growth, largely due to the immense popularity of the Lake Norman area for residents of nearby Charlotte, North Carolina's largest city.

Iredell County is an important transportation center for the state, as both Interstate 77 and Interstate 40 cross just north of Statesville. This has given birth to the county's slogan Crossroads for the Future. Residents have easy access south down I-77 to Charlotte, North Carolina, north to Elkin, North Carolina, Wilkesboro, North Carolina, and Roanoke, Virginia, east to Winston-Salem and Greensboro, and west along I-40 to Hickory, North Carolina, and Asheville.

Farming is still a major source of income for many Iredell County residents. Dairy farming has been particularly popular in Iredell County for centuries, in both the northern and southern sections of the county. However, the rapid population growth and development in southern Iredell County is putting increasing pressure on farmlands, and many farms in this section are giving way to shopping centers, housing developments, and large corporate office parks.



Mooresville

Mooresville was started in 1856 when a railroad was to come through the area needing a point to place a few cotton weighing scales. The area happened to sit directly on the site of the prosperous plantation of John Franklin Moore, and his wife Rachel Summrow Moore. Not only did Moore donate land for the weighing station, but he also gave land for a Depot, and land for several people to start up a town upon. Up until 1873, the town was known as Moore's Siding, with town growth stumbling with the Civil War. In 1873, the Town was incorporated as Mooresville, with 25 families, and several others living within its boundaries. Growth eventually came,and soon the town began to prosper, and by 1900, Mooresville had 1000 residents living within its boundaries. The town slowly but steadily grew throughout the twentieth century, and like many small towns in North Carolina its economy centered around a few large textile and furniture factories. However, in the 1980s the nearby city of Charlotte began to see enormous population growth, and today Mooresville is increasingly a suburban "bedroom community" for Charlotte-area workers. The town has experienced rapid population growth in recent years, and considerable housing and shopping-center development as well.

The area was already home to Europeans prior to 1856. Two very large prosperous plantations, Mount Mourne Place and Belmont, were in the area, with Belmont dating to before the Revolutionary War. There were also several other smaller plantations in the area, and many farms in the area as well. Well before the Europeans came though, The Catawba Indians used the area as hunting grounds, and legend holds that in the area is an old Indian burial mound, which is yet to be discovered.

Mooresville was once home to a professional minor league baseball. The Mooresville Moors played in the Class D North Carolina State League from 1937-1942. The league ceased operations for two seasons due to World War II but was reorganized in 1945. That season's team was known as the Mooresville Braves, due to the fact it was part of the Boston Braves farm system. The following season, 1946, the club returned to its traditional Moors nickname and remained in the league until it disbanded after the 1952 season. In 1953 a new Class D league, known as the Tar Heel League, was formed and the Mooresville Moors were members for its one season of existence. At least two former members of the Moors went on to play in the Major Leagues: pitchers Dave Jolly and Hoyt Wilhelm, who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.



Statesville

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.

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.



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