Denver NC

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  • Denver is commonly referred as “Denver of the East” and West Norman.
  • The historic town dates back to before the revolutionary war to a time when the Catawba Indians lived along the eastern banks of the river that still bears their name, and the Cherokee Indians lived to the west.
  • The first bold pioneers known to settle this area were Adam Sherrill and his 8 sons, who migrated from Pennsylvania in 1747, and John Beatty who settled here in 1749. Both the Sherrills and Beatty settled along the west bank of the Catawba near shoals in the river that made it possible to cross.
  • These crossing points or “fords” were thereafter referred to as “Sherrill’s Ford” and “Beattie’s Ford”, names that still live on in the area to this day.
  • The early settlers of the area were primarily Scotch-Irish and Germans that came from the north. By 1750 a Scotch-Irish settlement covered both banks of the Catawba river.
  • Battle of Cowan’s Ford took place here as well as a number of significant Revolutionary events. The actual location of the battle is now under water (about where Cowans Ford Dam sits) but you will find a monument a little south in Mecklenburg County (across from McGuire Entrance).
  • The Denver area was settled ca. 1770 and, because of it’s location adjacent to a swampy area / small pond, it got the name “Dry Pond”. The small pond was once located at the corner of Hwy 16 & Campground Road (where Bank of America branch is today). In 1873 “Dry Pond” was renamed “Denver” by D. Matt Thompson, the local school principal. Many locals felt “Dry Pond” presented an unattractive image so he renamed it after Colorado’s Capital. (Same year that Colorado was being considered admission to the Union).
  • The gymnasium at Rock Springs School was built as a part of the North Carolina Emergency Relief Administration, part of the economic stimulus package for the Great Depression 1932-1935.
  • In 1971 the little town of Denver lost it’s incorporated status when the State of North Carolina rescinded the charters of several inactive N.C. cities due to having failed to elect a local government for many years.
  • One of Denver’s major features is its “main street,” which is now known today as “Old Highway 16.” This road, once state highway 16, was one of North Carolina’s first state highways, receiving that designation in 1928
  • Denver is also home to the Rock Springs Campground that has been the site of revivals and camp meetings since 1794. One of the few continuous camp meeting still occurring to date.
  • Today Denver sits on the west shores of Lake Norman, the largest man-made lake in North Carolina, that was created in 1964 when the Cowans Ford Dam, crossing the Catawba River, was complete.
  • Denver’s popularity has grown over the years with the addition of Lake Norman and has become a popular recreation spot, for fishing, swimming and boating. The fast and easy access to Charlotte, Hickory, Cornelius, Huntersville, Mooresville & Mount Holly has also helped fuel Denver’s growth along with lower tax rates.