history of huntersville nc

History of Huntersville, NC

Posted on December 9, 2020

history of huntersville nc

Welcome to Huntersville, Located in Mecklenburg County, just 12 miles north of Charlotte, Huntersville is home to approximately 24,960 residents. As an orthodontist in Huntersville, Lineberger Orthodontics encourages community involvement. We hope our patients and their families learn and experience the culture and history that Huntersville has to offer.


Craighead to Huntersville

Originally called Craighead for a local minister, the town was renamed for a local farmer and landowner named Robert Boston Hunter. The town was officially incorporated in 1873. At its start, Huntersville was only 1 square mile with the railroad at its center.


Cotton Farms

Even before its incorporation, Huntersville’s fertile lands were home to large cotton plantations. The introduction of steam engines, a railway line, and great schools brought families from far and near and contributed to the growth of the area.


Textile Mills

As the cotton farms thrived in the greater Charlotte area, textile mills were built. Mecklenburg County and the city of Charlotte were leaders in the region’s growing textile industry. The Virgin Manufacturing Company, a cotton mill, was one of the first industries in the area as Huntersville’s mill town developed on the east side of the railroad tracks. 

A brickyard was another early industry that contributed to the construction of some of the older homes in Huntersville.


More Recent Developments in Huntersville

With the introduction of textile mills, many workers lived near the actual mills. Others lived and worked on farms, in retail jobs in the center of town, or in Charlotte. As business and residential developments expanded, so too did the town, number of people, and economy of Huntersville.


Business and Residential Developments

In the 1950s, Greenfield became the first subdivision of Huntersville. Strip malls were developed and industries thrived. Huntersville made the news as one of the first communities in Mecklenburg to obtain modern facilities such as water and electricity (we certainly appreciate that) and one of the first municipalities in the country in which all of the streets were paved.

In the 1980s, the Huntersville Business Park, which is now called “The Park – Huntersville,” was established. This brought in more businesses and with that, the need for more housing for employees. Shepherd’s Village and Breckenridge were the next residential subdivisions to be developed during the same time period.


Influence of Lake Norman

Huntersville is considered a lake community due to its proximity to Lake Norman. Lake Norman is a large, man-made lake that was created between 1959 and 1964 as Duke Power built the Cowans Ford Dam on the Catawba River. At 33.6 miles long, 9 miles wide, and covering 520 miles of shoreline, Lake Norman is the largest, man-made body of freshwater in North Carolina.

Western Huntersville, the west side of NC-115, developed first due to available water from the lake. A water treatment facility supplied water to areas outside of the Huntersville town limits and contributed to the development of the areas.

Initially, people just had weekend or vacation homes on the lake. In the 1990s, development intensified and brought in more residential and business developments.



After WWII, railroads stopped transporting people in and around Huntersville and only transported goods. The development of interstates and two exits off the highways fueled access to and the growth of Huntersville.


Huntersville Today

The history of Huntersville’s farms, mills, and more has not been forgotten. Although the town has grown in area and population, its history has been preserved. 

Today, the remaining farmland, the simple commute to Charlotte, and the proximity to Lake Norman offer appealing benefits to those in the area.


Historical Landmarks

Huntersville has more than 15 historical and cultural landmarks (wow!). The landmarks date as far back as the 1700s and 1800s and include churches, farms, and schools. Many of these landmarks are part of a driving tour of North Mecklenburg County. Some sites are open to visitors as well, although Covid-19 precautions may currently be in place.


Things to Do in Huntersville

From the old to the new, historical to current trends, Huntersville has experiences and attractions to suit the whole family. From parks and nature preserves to go-kart racing and escape rooms, Huntersville is a family-friendly town (that’s why we love it!). For the history buff, stop by the Historic Latta Plantation or the Historic Rural Hill Farm

Enjoy the history, culture, and beauty of the area as you find a few fun things to do in Huntersville.


Visit Huntersville

Explore the rich history of the greater Charlotte area by visiting historic sites in Huntersville. Soak in the culture! Visitors and locals alike will enjoy experiencing and learning more about the history of Huntersville, NC. Your one-of-a-kind experiences and adventures await!