High Point History
Use the links below to learn more about the history of High Point and North Carolina’s Piedmont. The Heritage Research Center at the High Point Public Library has numerous resources for local history research. Historic sites and museums, like the High Point Museum, as well as libraries and other cultural organizations in the area are valuable resources for local history which can be experienced in person.
Early High Point
Editor of The High Point Enterprise, J.J. Farriss, published a series of booklets beginning in 1896 which documented early business and manufacturing history. The booklets also contain photographs of people, factories, and street scenes.
The City of High Point was chartered in 1859. Find information related to the government of the City of High Point as well as browse public documents here.
The Heritage Research Center holds printed City Council Meeting minutes from 1859-2002, although many early records are missing. Other City records are also on file, as are some current government documents required to be available for public viewing. Please contact the Heritage Research Center directly for specific documents and records.
Furniture Industry History
Beginning with the earliest days of industrial manufacture in the South following the Civil War, High Point has played a vital role in the history of furniture in North Carolina, the entire region, nation and, now, the world. After 1900, the furniture industry in North Carolina grew rapidly, and High Point became the center of furniture manufacturing and marketing in the South.
Textile & Hosiery History
Although High Point’s furniture association continues today, the textile industry created equal prosperity for the city. The same infrastructure and resources needed for furniture manufacturing also contributed to hosiery, yarn and knitting mills as well as companies producing finished goods. By the middle of the 20th Century, High Point could easily boast that it was the “furniture and hosiery capital of the world.”
The High Point Enterprise, Greensboro Patriot, and other area newspapers are available on microfilm in the Heritage Research Center (HRC). Holdings for most newspapers are not complete in early years, but the HRC also has services to search newspapers online.
The Tribunal Aid was published from 1973 to 1976 and reported on issues important to the African American community in High Point. All issues are available online.
The Heritage Research Center (HRC) holds a number of scrapbooks created by city and chamber of commerce staff from the 1920s through the early 1970s. These scrapbooks contain articles clipped from area newspapers on topics important to the government and economic development of High Point and are organized by date. Most have been digitized and available for browsing, although they are not indexed or searchable by keyword. Scrapbooks from the High Point Museum relate to High Point civic and charitable organizations.
Before the widespread publication of telephone directories, city directories documented the people and places within a city. A city directory is a published listing of people, businesses, organizations and institutions, giving their location within the city as well as other types of information, including professions, race, business associations, and, later, telephone numbers. High Point's first city directory is from 1908. The Heritage Research Center (HRC) has printed volumes of High Point area city directories from 1910 to the present. Some editions are available online. Please contact the HRC for individual telephone directories.
Sanborn Maps - very detailed city plans showing individual buildings, streets, businesses, industry, public facilities and infrastructure. The first Sanborn Map for High Point was published in 1885 and the last in 1956 . Some printed versions can be found at most libraries including the Heritage Research Center at the High Point Public Library. Maps from 1885 to 1917 of Guilford County and High Point are available through this link.