Lincoln County, North Carolina (population 71,897), is situated in the southwestern portion of North Carolina’s Piedmont region. As early as the mid-18th century, settlers from areas of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina, primarily of German and Scotch-Irish decent, flocked to the area to take advantage of the inexpensive land and rich farmland available in the Carolina backcountry. Traveling along the “Great Philadelphia Wagon Road,” these immigrants established settlements throughout Lincoln County.
The Revolutionary War Battle at Ramsour’s Mill took place on June 20, 1780, in what is today the City of Lincolnton. The County was named for Major General Benjamin Lincoln of Massachusetts, who was selected by George Washington to receive the official British sword of surrender from Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1781.
Lincoln County became one of the largest and wealthiest counties in North Carolina before being partitioned into additional counties in the 1840. For more than 150 years, from the 1780s through the 1950s, Lincoln County played a major role in North Carolina's economic development through its iron furnaces and forges and textile mills. Today, the County boasts a more diverse workforce with a focus on manufacturing and distribution.
Lincoln County retains three 18th century residences – Vesuvius Furnace (1792), Andrew Loretz House (1793), and Woodside (1798) – as well as many historic structures from the 19th and 20th centuries. The Lincoln County Historical Association and Lincoln County Historic Properties Commission work with owners of historic properties to designate their homes as local historic landmarks, facilitate restoration, and promote their preservation efforts. They also coordinate tours of privately owned historic properties and cemeteries, and strive to educate local officials, local historians, and the public about historic preservation.
The Lincoln County Voices oral history project documents and preserves the history and heritage of the African-American community through collected personal histories and the location of documents, photographs, and other artifacts and objects related to this community.
Each year, Lincoln County hosts the Apple Festival, which celebrates the agricultural, economic, historic, and cultural heritage of the area. Another annual event is the reenactment of the Battle of Ramsour’s Mill, which draws residents and tourists alike.
Designated a Preserve America Community in January 2008.