- Mia D'Agostino
Hendersonville is located in mountainous Western North Carolina with a population of 14,107. Hendersonville received its charter from the General Assembly as the City of Hendersonville, and became recognized as the county seat of Henderson County in 1847. Today, Hendersonville is known as “The City of Four Seasons” due to the beautiful snow in the winter, plentiful blossoms in the spring, warm summers and the colorful foliage in the fall.
Batcave is located along Highway 64 in between Lake Lure and Chimney Rock State Park. The community got its name from a cave inhabited by thousands of bats in the nearby Bluerock Mountain. The cave system is the largest known granite fissure cave in North America
Bat Cave is technically in Henderson County, but is officially a part of Asheville Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The terrain in and around Bat Cave is mainly mountainous, with isolated peaks, valleys, and rolling plateaus. The elevation in Bat Cave is approximately 1,400 feet, whereas some areas of Henderson country reach 5,000 feet. Though the town is sparsely populated, Bat Cave is a nice retreat from the bustling towns of Chimney Rock and Lake Lure.
Located on Hickory Nut Gorge, the town of Lake Lure resides on what National Geographic calls “one of the most beautiful man-made lakes in the world.” The lake covers approximately 720 acres, with about 21 miles of shoreline. It is the location of the 1987 hit romance film Dirty Dancing.
The idea for a resort town came from Dr. Lucius B. Morse, who moved to the area in 1902. Along with the support of his brothers, Morse founded Chimney Rock Mountains Inc. in order to purchase 800 acres of land for the resort. In time, the brothers acquired 8,000 acres. Construction began in 1925, and the lake as well as the Lake Lure Inn were completed by 1927. Due to the Great Depression, Morse was met with financial woes and had to turn the lake over to the Town of Lake Lure. The town became populated by families with privately owned homes and small resorts. Morse’s vision inspired families all over the country to spend their summers in the small western lake town on Lake Lure.
The land that comprises Taylorsville was given by J.M. Bogle, William Matheson, and James James. Together, their land totaled 46.75 acres. When the land was cleared, a commissioner and treasurer were appointed to determine the town’s layout and sell plots of land to fund construction for the courthouse and the jail. Over the course of 10 months, they sold 62 plots of land and raised $6,674.75. The town received its name from General Zachary Taylor, who was serving in Mexico at the time. Today, approximately 2,000 people call Taylorsville home.
Mocksville began as a settlement formerly known as “Mocks Old Field,” which is said to have existed before the American Revolution. Mocks Old Field was used as a secret meeting place for colonial forces. The settlement’s first post office was established in 1810, nearly 20 years later, the settlement was incorporated as the county seat of Davie County.
An earthquake destroyed part of downtown Mocksville in 1886, causing most of the town to be rebuilt. Today, downtown Mocksville is part of the Main Street Program of the National Register for Historic Places, an organization that offers grassroots assistance to historic downtowns. The town has a population of approximately 5,000 people, and it has experienced 20% growth over the past ten years.
Scotts-Irish Presbyterians and German Lutherans began arriving in the land that is now Statesville over 250 years ago to take advantage of the land’s natural resources, including fresh water, fertile soil, and plentiful game. Originally, the land was called Fourth Creek Congregation after the fresh water stream that ran through town. Two years after the first settlers arrived, the Governor Arthur Dobbs authorized the construction of a frontier fort three miles north of the town.
The fort served as a military barrack, a refuge for settlers, as well as a center for negotiations with Native Americans. In 1789, the state legislature selected Fourth Creek Congregation to become a county seat, and it was renamed Statesville. Statsville thrived off of tobacco production, which contributed to its rapid growth as a community. Stateville led the state of North Carolina in tobacco production as well as the manufacturing and blending of whiskey. Today, Statesville is one of the largest towns in Western North Carolina with a population of nearly 25,000 people.