High Point

High Point is a city located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina. As of July 2006 the city had a total population of 97,796 according to the US Census Bureau. July 2008 estimates place the city’s population at around 100,400, making High Point the eighth-largest municipality in the North Carolina.

High Point is known for its furniture, textiles, and bus manufacturing. It is generally regarded as the “Furniture Capital of the World” and “North Carolina’s International City” due to the semi-annual High Point Market that attracts 100,000 exhibitors and buyers from around the world. The area code is 336.

It is home to High Point University, a private Methodist-affiliated institution founded in 1924. The city also has one of the few Bentley dealerships in the southeast.

Most of the city is located in Guilford County, with portions spilling into neighboring Randolph, Davidson, and Forsyth counties. High Point is North Carolina’s only city that extends into four counties.

High Point History

Among the first Europeans to settle Guilford County were Quakers and German immigrants. High Point was located at the highest point of the 1856 North Carolina Railroad between Charlotte and Goldsboro where it intersected the 1852 Great Western Plank Road. Its central location and transportation allowed for the delivery of raw materials like cotton and lumber and processed goods in and out of the city and contributed to its early growth. It was incorporated in 1859. Before it became a major manufacturing center, the most important industries were tobacco, woodworking and textiles. The first of many High Point furniture factories was opened in 1889 [1].

High Point’s conception is not solely linked to manufacturing; it is also tied to religious freedom beginning as early as the mid-eighteenth century as a refuge for Pennsylvania Quakers who came to the region in search of affordable land, good climate, and an opportunity to create a principled and ordered community. Members of the Society of Friends held beliefs that many considered heresy in the late eighteenth century. Central to these core convictions were values of community and equality that led to the development of specialized trades and early educational systems that were the foundations for the future growth of the region.

Since its incorporation, High Point has been an ambitious city. Whether rallying around Union carpetbaggers in the 1870s and textile barons in the 1910s, or planning public parks in the 1930s, the city has always been forward looking in its prospects. City historians such as J. J. Farriss, Stephen C. Clark, Frank Sizemore, and Holt McPherson have proudly documented the citys past as if writing a users guide for building a model city. Memorialized in numerous successful businesses and family fortunes, this ambition also is recorded in the citys architecture.

Queen Anne Ecker House of 1908 in High PointReflecting the citys growth and influence is an architectural inventory increasingly representative of High Point’s civic pride and cultural sophistication. Since early settlement, hotels and merchant-houses presented fashionable façades to visitors and discerning shoppers. Later, wealthy industrialists had ambitious houses and churches erected in popular styles that illustrated the growing town’s sense of style. Finally, civic projects such as schools and public works were built in increasingly popular and modern designs in a way that spoke to High Point’s progressive spirit and quickening pace. By the middle of the twentieth century, High Point had assembled an impressive collection of architecture representing nearly every popular style since the city was founded, some designed by nationally recognized architects and planners.

Within the twenty-first century, increasing influence has been found in the city’s institutions of higher education. Established in 1924, High Point University is a liberal arts institution with approximately 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 52 countries and 36 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by U.S. News and World Report 6th among comprehensive universities in the South and in the top 100 nationally. The university offers 45 undergraduate majors and five graduate-degree programs. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference.

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