Granite Falls, North CarolinaThe local Indians were the first to see the waterfalls over Gunpowder Creek but the area’s first owner saw something else: power that could be harnessed to operate an iron forge. In 1791, pioneer Andrew Baird became the owner of what is now the town of Granite Falls. Eventually, the iron works faded away but the town remained and continued to grow thanks to a cotton mill that was founded in 1880. When the railroad followed a few years later, it strengthened the town more as new businesses opened.
Although Granite Falls is the most descriptive name, the town went by several other names before it was finally incorporated in 1899. Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains, the town, which is part of Caldwell County, dates back to the mid-1700s according to land grant records. A quiet, friendly town, it is just minutes from some of the highest peaks in North Carolina and the quaint village of Blowing Rock yet near the city lights of Hickory, just to the south.
"Granite Falls recently expanded its boundaries with the purchase of 72 acres on Lake Rhodhiss [which] will be used to protect Granite Falls’ water supply and to provide additional recreation opportunities such as hiking and biking trails offering lovely water views."
Granite Falls recently expanded its boundaries with the purchase of 72 acres on Lake Rhodhiss. This property will be used to protect Granite Falls’ water supply and to provide additional recreation opportunities such as hiking and biking trails offering lovely water views. Three fishing decks and a picnic shelter will also be on the site.
The Granite Falls History and Transportation Museum is a relatively new attraction in town and is housed in the newly renovated home of founder Andrew Baird. Built in the 1790s, it is the second oldest residence in Caldwell County and has been restored to its former grandeur.
Easily accessible by I-40, I-85 and I-26, the town of Granite Falls continues to grow. Manufacturing is an important part of the economy but tourism and the retirement industry also impact the town’s prosperity.
Granite Falls is committed to preserving its wonderful way of life. In addition to the many outdoor activities available, the town is also very involved with the arts through the Caldwell Arts Council and Foothills Performing Arts.
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