I find myself drawn to learn the history of those places we are visiting. I hope by understanding the past I can get a better understanding of my new community. This is from wikipedia on Statesville where we saw the balloon festival. It is an old town and seems mostly industrial.
In 1753, Scots-Irish Presbyterians and German Lutherans, who originally settled in Pennsylvania, began arriving in Statesville to plant crops in the fertile soil where game and water were also plentiful. The settlement, known as Fourth Creek Congregation, was named for the fresh water stream, which was the fourth creek west of the neighboring settlement of Salisbury. The center of the settlement was a log cabin where the Presbyterians worshiped and where the First Presbyterian Church is located today.
In 1755, the colonial governor Arthur Dobbs authorized the construction of the colony’s frontier fort, which was located approximately three miles due north of the Fourth Creek settlement. Built and garrisoned by North Carolina provincial soldiers, Fort Dobbs defended the British North America’s western frontier in the colony of North Carolina during the French and Indian War. Fort Dobbs combined the functions of a military barracks, fortification, refuge for settlers, provisioning depot and center for negotiations with native Americans.
As early as 1833, Statesville’s leaders began laying track for railroads to connect the Piedmont area of North Carolina with the rest of the country.
Statesville served as the temporary capital of North Carolina during the final months of the Civil War when Union troops occupied Raleigh and forced Gov. Zebulon Vance to relocate the confederate state government.
By 1858, Statesville was growing rapidly and soon afterward began leading the state in the production of tobacco and tobacco products, the manufacture and blending of whiskey, and became a large distribution center for roots and herbs.