History

480 – 400 Million Years Ago Appalachian & Blue Ridge Mountains form. 

255 – 66 Million Years Ago Conifers and flowering plants proliferate in what will become the Piedmont.

65 Million Years Ago Dinosaur extinction

10,000-8,000 BC Nomadic PaleoIndian-period American Indians hunt in what will become the Carolinas.

1,000 BC – AD 1550 Woodland-culture American Indians (including Catawba Indians) settle in permanent locations, including what will become the Piedmont.

KingCharles by Sir Peter Lely
Portrait of King Charles by Sir Peter Lely

1663 King Charles II of England grants a charter to start The Province of Carolina, a new colony that generally establishes North Carolina’s borders.

1770 Carolina’s population doubles to 197,200, thanks to the region’s swift-flowing, shallow streams and narrow rivers, which were not good for boat traffic but excellent for mills and farms.

1775 Mecklenburg County (allegedly) declares independence from Britain via the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence.

1776 North Carolina declares independence from Britain.

1789 North Carolina becomes the 12th State of the Union. Mecklenburg County population is approximately 11,000.

1796 Map of NC from the David Rumsey Collection
1796 Map of NC from the David Rumsey Collection

1799 Gold is discovered and mined, for the first time in the US, in the Piedmont.

1837 Town of Davidson and Davidson College are established.

1900 Mecklenburg County population grows to 55,268.

1959-1964 Duke Power Company creates Lake Norman by building the Cowans Ford Dam across the Catawba River.

2000 Davidson Lands Conservancy forms.

Cowans Ford Dam
Cowans Ford Dam, under construction

2017 Mecklenburg County population grows to 1,076,837.

2019 Davidson Lands Conservancy earns accreditation from the Land Trust Alliance.