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Mooresville, North Carolina
Nickname(s): 
Race City USA
Location of Mooresville, North Carolina
Location of Mooresville, North Carolina
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Iredell
Established March 3, 1873
Named for John Franklin Moore
Government
 • Type Council-Manager government
Area
 • Total 24.70 sq mi (63.97 km2)
 • Land 24.63 sq mi (63.79 km2)
 • Water 0.07 sq mi (0.17 km2)
Elevation
925 ft (282 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 50,193
 • Density 1,588.73/sq mi (613.40/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
28115, 28117
Area code(s) 704, 980
FIPS code 37-44220
GNIS feature ID 0990209

Mooresville is a large town located in the southwestern section of Iredell County, North Carolina, United States, and is a part of the fast-growing Charlotte Metro area. The population was 50,193 at the 2020 United States Census making it the largest municipality in Iredell County. It is located approximately 25 miles (40 km) north of Charlotte.

Mooresville is best known as the home of many NASCAR racing teams and drivers, along with an IndyCar team and its drivers, as well as racing technology suppliers, which has earned the town the nickname "Race City USA". Also located in Mooresville is the corporate headquarters of Lowe's Corporation and Universal Technical Institute's NASCAR Technical Institute.

Geography

Mooresville is located at 35°35′4″N 80°49′13″W / 35.58444°N 80.82028°W / 35.58444; -80.82028 (35.584337, −80.820139).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 14.7 square miles (38 km2), of which, 14.7 square miles (38 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (0.20%) is water.

History

The area that would develop into the town of Mooresville was originally settled by English, German, and Scot-Irish families who moved into the area from nearby Rowan County, as well as Virginia, Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Many were seeking new lands on which to establish farms. Many of the early families such as the Wilsons, Davidsons, Cowans, Sherrills, Torrances, and others came to the area as early as the mid-1700s. They formed small communities that eventually grew into the community known as Deep Well, which took its name from a large natural well that was found in the area. Many of these families established large farms, primarily of cotton, which grew into small plantations by the 1850s. Major Rufus Reid was considered by far the most successful planter in the area, owning 81 slaves on over 2,000 acres of land. His plantation was known as Mount Mourne Plantation, and was named after the Mourne mountains of Co Down Northern Ireland. Several other historic plantation homes set in the area as well, such as the elegant Johnson-Neel House, the Cornelius House, Forest Dell Plantation, and the colonial era Belmont Plantation.

In 1856, a railroad was placed on a natural ridge that happened to go through the land of a local farmer by the name of John Franklin Moore. A small scale planter, Moore set up a Depot on his land, and encouraged others to help establish a small village on the location in the late 1850s. The little village, known as Moore's Siding was born. The Civil War hampered developments however, with the railroads track being removed to aid the Confederate efforts in Virginia. After the war, the tracks were returned, and Moore's Siding slowly began to prosper. Shortly after the Civil War, John Franklin Moore saw the need for the village to incorporate into a town. The town was incorporated as Mooresville in 1873. Mr. Moore also helped to establish the first brick making factory in Mooresville, and built some of the first brick buildings on Main Street. Mr. Moore died in 1877 and his wife, Rachel Summrow Moore, continued the development of the town.

In 1883 the railroad lines were run back through the town with the addition of a new depot. The railroad brought growth to the town, which continued to grow with the addition of the first water plant in the early 1890s, the establishment of a library in 1899, a phone company in 1893 and the first of many textile mills in 1900.

In 1938, artist Alicia Weincek painted the mural, North Carolina Cotton Industry, in the town's post office having won a WPA competition for the commissioned work.

From textile mills to NASCAR; over the years, many business and industries have called Mooresville home. One of the more notable being, a professional minor league baseball team, the Mooresville Moors who 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.

Mooresville has also been home to many famous people over the years as well such as Dr. Selma Burke, who created the bust of President Franklin D. Roosevelt for the Four Freedoms plaque on the Recorder of Deed Building in Washington, D.C. It would later be used for the image on the dime, and many others. Mooresville has continued to grow over the years to become a major attraction for sports companies, businesses, the movie industry and many others since its incorporation.

On December 11, 2014, Duke Energy, to repair a rusted, leaking pipe, received approval from North Carolina to dump Coal Ash (containing arsenic, lead, thallium and mercury, among other heavy metals) from the Marshall Steam Station into Lake Norman.

On October 3, 2015, Duke reported that a sinkhole had formed at the base of the Marshall Steam Station dam north of Charlotte on Lake Norman. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) says Duke placed a liner in the hole and filled it with crushed stone.

Race City USA

Mooresville is also branded as Race City USA. The town is home to more than 60 NASCAR teams and racing related businesses, along with an INDYCAR team. Mooresville features two automotive museums: The Memory Lane Motorsports and Historical Automotive Museum and the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame. The Mooresville Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official resource for travelers.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 508
1890 886 74.4%
1900 1,533 73.0%
1910 3,400 121.8%
1920 4,315 26.9%
1930 5,619 30.2%
1940 6,682 18.9%
1950 7,121 6.6%
1960 6,918 −2.9%
1970 8,808 27.3%
1980 8,575 −2.6%
1990 9,317 8.7%
2000 18,823 102.0%
2010 32,711 73.8%
2020 50,193 53.4%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Mooresville racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 35,046 69.82%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 5,462 10.88%
Native American 119 0.24%
Asian 2,606 5.19%
Pacific Islander 23 0.05%
Other/Mixed 2,525 5.03%
Hispanic or Latino 4,412 8.79%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 50,193 people, 14,233 households, and 9,866 families residing in the town.

Historic districts

In addition to a number of historic sites including Mount Mourne Plantation, Johnson-Neel House, Cornelius House, and Espy Watts Brawley House, Mooresville is home to the following historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places:

  • Mooresville Historic District, which includes much of the downtown commercial district;
  • Mooresville Mill Village Historic District, a residential area near the former mill site; and
  • South Broad Street Row, a district of older homes, some now in commercial use, near downtown.

Sister cities

Transportation and highways

The following highways pass through or around Mooresville:

  • Interstate 77 - passes through the western side of Mooresville.
  • US 21- passes through the western side of Mooresville, running parallel to I-77 approximately one mile east of I-77
  • North Carolina Highway 3- passes through downtown Mooresville. The number is in recognition of the late NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, whose car number was 3.
  • North Carolina Highway 115 - passes through downtown Mooresville
  • North Carolina Highway 150 - passes through the northern side of Mooresville
  • North Carolina Highway 152 - passes through downtown Mooresville
  • North Carolina Highway 801 - passes through the northeastern side of Mooresville

Exit 36 from Interstate 77 provides access to NC 150 and downtown Mooresville. Exits 33 and 42 from Interstate 77 provide access to US 21, while Exit 42 also connects with NC 115. Exits 31 (Langtree Road) and 35 (Brawley School Road) also connect I-77 with Mooresville.

The I-77 Express Lanes begin at Exit 36, and continue south through the Mecklenburg County towns of Davidson, Cornelius and Huntersville before terminating in Uptown Charlotte.

Lake Norman Airpark

Lake Norman Airpark is located on the edge of Lake Norman and is 5 miles (8.0 km) northwest of downtown Mooresville, offering a 3,100-foot (940 m) runway. A thriving "fly-in community", Lake Norman Airpark is home to almost 50 lots. Tie-downs and fuel are available. The airport is owned by the surrounding Lake Norman Airpark Owners Association.

Notable people

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