Historic Mount Pleasant

 A Short History of the Town of Mount Pleasant, North Carolina

The following is an overview of the history of the Town of Mount Pleasant from its earliest foundations until the turn of the 20th Century.

Local tradition maintains that life in Mount Pleasant dates back to the mid-1700s, when a campsite call "Mount Comfort" provided a stopping place between Salisbury and "Charles Town." Over the years this location became a stop for wagons on the route. It emerged as a small village in the 1830s, named Mount Pleasant because of its picturesque location and its high elevation between Adams and Buffalo Creeks. Incoming German settlers gradually gravitated to the site and by 1859 the population was sufficient for incorporation as a town.

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Mount Pleasant Historic District

The Mount Pleasant Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic  Places in 1986.  The district comprises 184 properties along a two-mile, X-shaped, tree line stretch of the Town's two major thoroughfares of Main and Franklin Streets. The Mount Pleasant Historic District explicates the Town's development from a small, sleepy college village in 1850 to its emergence as a rural textile community during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It also reflects the decelerated growth that was typical of many southern villages who suffered economically after the Civil War. Although nearby Concord and Kannapolis recovered from the devastating financial effects of the war, Mount Pleasant's expansion was extremely gradual in comparison to these two cities. Unlike its neighbors, Mount Pleasant did not have a railroad connection. The Mount Pleasant Historic District depicts the prosperity of the Town's merchants, clergy, artisans, and other professional groups, and their attempts to establish a stronger industrial-based economy.

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Mount Pleasant Collegiate Institute

The Mount Pleasant Collegiate Institute Historic District, named for the last of the three educational institutions which have occupied these buildings and grounds, comprises 7 buildings erected between 1852, when the NC Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America established the Western Carolina Male Academy, and 1933, when the Collegiate Institute closed its doors. Set among groves of trees on a hill overlooking the center of Mount Pleasant, the grouping was the first historic district in Cabarrus County to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places when it was established in 1980. The structures in the district include the Main Building (185 4-55), which currently houses the Eastern Cabarrus Historical Society Museum; the Society Hall (1859-59), a 2-story Greek Revival brick structure; the New Dormitory (1925), a 3- story brick building designed by Charlotte architect Louis H. Asbury; the Matthias Barrier house (1853), a 2-story Greek Revival residence that was the home of a prominent Cabarrus County farmer and educational leader; the President's House (1855), a frame residence with Greek Revival details; and the boarding house (1868), a 2-story frame dwelling.