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Thomasville, North Carolina

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thomasville, North Carolina
The Big Chair
T-Vegas, Chair City, Tater Town
Location in Davidson County and the state of North Carolina
Location in Davidson County and the state of North Carolina
Coordinates: 35°53′9″N 80°4′38″W / 35.88583°N 80.07722°W / 35.88583; -80.07722
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
CountiesDavidson, Randolph
 • MayorRaleigh F York, Jr
 • Total16.78 sq mi (43.46 km2)
 • Land16.77 sq mi (43.43 km2)
 • Water0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
840 ft (256 m)
 • Total26,757
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,600/sq mi (620/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s)336
FIPS code37-67420[2]
GNIS feature ID1022940[3]

Thomasville is a city in Davidson County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 26,757 at the 2010 census.[4] The city is notable for its furniture industry, as are its neighbors High Point and Lexington. This Piedmont Triad community was established in 1852 and hosts the state's oldest festival, "Everybody's Day". Built around the local railway system, Thomasville is home to the oldest railroad depot in the state, just a few hundred feet from the city's most notable landmark, "The Big Chair".

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Thomasville Trains | North Carolina Weekend | UNC-TV
  • ✪ Thomasville Rail Fan Day | NC Weekend | UNC-TV
  • ✪ ThomasVille NC Railfanning 5 Featuring N&W 611, NS 8099, & SOU 6133


- [Rick] The train depot in Thomasville was built nearly 150 years ago and it's still in use today as a visitors' center and the main gathering place for a growing number of rail fans. A group of hobbyists who track, photograph, video, and even plan vacations around special edition trains. - I went to China in 2004 and shot the last of the steam trains. And we'd done four trips out of the United states every year. And we, the same group of guys went every year on the same trips and it was just like a fraternity. - [Rick] And Now J.R Ewings has a growing fraternity of rail fans joining him on a regular basis in Thomasville, where suddenly, rail fans have discovered a reliable place to see and photograph a variety of interesting trains. - Wow, here it comes! [train horn blows] - Yeah, the executive director of tourism for Davidson County is a rail fan. And he said, "Mark", he said, "I think you're sitting "on a little bit of a gold mine here in Thomasville." I said, "How so?" And he explained. He said, "What these people need "is high volume of trains, some of the unique trains, "a free place to park, nice air condition, "clean bathrooms, an unobstructed view for pictures." He said, "You've got every one of those." - [Rick] So Mark Scott put in for a grant to get advertising money, and he spent it on an ad in Trains magazine. - [Mark] And from that point on, rail fans started coming from all over the nation. - [Rick] There's also great variety to the towns tourism menu. It might get a great boost from any attention the trains can bring. An impressive Vietnam veterans memorial here at the edge of town on an I-85 rest stop. There's the civil war cemetery with Union and Confederate troops laid to rest on common ground, an uncommon occurrence. And there's the big chair, still as sturdy as the millions of furniture pieces manufactured here for more than a century. But even before there was business and industry in this historic town, there were trains. And, fittingly, it's trains again, as many as 35 a day, that are giving Thomasville this unique status in a specialty market. - I have traveled practically all over the world, and I told Mark about a year ago, I said, "Far as, uh, rail fanning, Thomasville "is one of the neatest spots that I've ever been." [trains horn blows] - [Rick] Ewings and other rail fans like him are prepared to drive for hours to catch a shot of a unique train or location. Anything that might garner a great photo. Locomotives are of particular interest, especially the hand full of heritage units. Those from Norfolk Southern painted in retro color schemes. - I'm still new to trains. Learning a lot about 'em, but I like the steam locomotives, just 'cause the black smoke make wonderful pictures. [bell clangs] - [Rick] You can also track many of these trains online. But in Thomasville, you can do it at track side from the visitors center along with fellow rail fans. In Thomasville, I'm Rick Sullivan for North Carolina Weekend. - [Narrator] The Thomasville visitor center is at 44 West Main Street and it's open Monday through Friday from nine a.m. to five p.m. and Saturdays from nine to one. And don't forget you can watch live streaming video of the trains passing through town at



John Warwick Thomas was born June 27, 1800, and by age 22 owned 384 acres (155 ha) in the Cedar Lodge area after marrying Mary Lambeth, daughter of Moses Lambeth. By age 30 he was a state representative. In 1848 he became a state senator. He pushed to get a railroad built through Davidson County and even invested money. Knowing the railroad was coming, Thomas built the community's first store in 1852 at present-day West Main and Salem streets, and the community was named "Thomasville" for its founder. In 1855 the North Carolina Railroad was built through Davidson County, reaching Thomasville November 9. On January 8, 1857, Thomasville was incorporated and occupied one square mile, with the railroad dividing the town into north and south sections.

In 1860 Thomasville had 308 people. After the Civil War the town had only 217 residents, but by 1880 the population was 450, reaching 751 by 1890.

Long Bill Whiteheart may have been the first to make furniture; he made split-bottom chairs at home. D.S. Westmoreland also made chairs at home starting in 1866, and his factory on what became Randolph Street went up in 1879 but burned in 1897 and was not rebuilt. The oldest plant still standing as of 1990 was that of Standard Chair, built in 1898. Other furniture companies were Lambeth Furniture, Thompson Chair, and Queen Chair Company.

Cramer Furniture was said[by whom?] to be the South's second largest furniture company in 1901. Thomasville Chair, started in 1904, soon became the town's leading furniture manufacturer. By 1916, 2,000 chairs a day were being made citywide.

By 1909 Jewel Cotton Mills and Amazon Cotton Mills gave Thomasville another industry, textiles. Sellers Hosiery Mills of Burlington opened in 1913, and Thomasville Hosiery in 1916.[5]

The Abbott's Creek Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery, Brummell's Inn, Church Street School, Emanuel United Church of Christ Cemetery, Shadrach Lambeth House, Mitchell House, Randolph Street Historic District, Salem Street Historic District, Smith Clinic, Thomasville Downtown Historic District, and Thomasville Railroad Passenger Depot are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[6][7]

Big Chair

Thomasville is commonly referred to as the "Chair Town" or "Chair City", in reference to a 30-foot (9.1 m) landmark replica of a Duncan Phyfe armchair that rests in the middle of the city. The original "Big Chair" was constructed in 1922 by the Thomasville Chair Company (now Thomasville Furniture Industries) out of lumber and Swiss steer hide to reflect the city's prominent furniture industry. However, this chair was scrapped in 1936 after 15 years of exposure to the weather. In 1951, a larger concrete version of the chair was erected with the collaboration of local businesses and civic organizations and still remains today. The Big Chair gained national attention in 1960 when then Presidential candidate Lyndon B. Johnson greeted supporters on the monument during a campaign whistle stop.[8] Although larger ones have been built, many Thomasville residents still boast that the Big Chair between the two Main Streets is the "World's Largest Chair".


Thomasville is located in northeastern Davidson County at 35°53′9″N 80°4′38″W / 35.88583°N 80.07722°W / 35.88583; -80.07722 (35.885848, −80.077323).[9] It is bordered to the east by the city of Trinity in Randolph County.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city of Thomasville has a total area of 16.8 square miles (43.5 km2), of which 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2), or 0.07%, is water.[4]


Climate data for Thomasville, North Carolina
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 83
Average high °F (°C) 51
Daily mean °F (°C) 41
Average low °F (°C) 30
Record low °F (°C) −7
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.69
Source: The Weather Channel[10][11]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201826,635[1]−0.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 26,757 people, 10,537 households, and 7,013 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,775.2 people per square mile (685.2/km²). There were 11,870 housing units at an average density of 763.9 per square mile (294.9/km²). The racial composition of the city was: 68.3% White, 19.6% African American, 14.4% Hispanic or Latino American, 1.1% Asian American, 0.01% Native American, 0% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, 8.1% some other race, and 2.1% two or more races.

There were 10,537 households out of which 32.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.3% were married couples living together, 18.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.4% were non-families. 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the city, the population was spread out with 26.5% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 23.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.2 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,253, and the median income for a family was $40,795. Males had a median income of $29,794 versus $20,054 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,045. About 25.2% of families and 29.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 45.1% of those under age 18 and 17.7% of those age 65 or over.

Thomasville's population has grown much faster than the rest of North Carolina and the United States. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that as of 2005 Thomasville's population reached 25,872, an annual average growth of over 6% from 2000. North Carolina grew at an average rate of 1.6%, and the United States grew at an average rate of 1%.


Thomasville has been historically associated with furniture and cabinetry manufacture, as well as for a wholesale and retail furniture market. "Thomasville" is used as a trade designation for artisan furniture made by either Thomasville Furniture Industries or furniture companies that are based in the city. Thomasville Furniture Industries was started here in 1904 as a chair company before becoming a furniture manufacturing company in the 1960s. After the last two plants closed in 2014, the Thomasville Furniture Industries Showroom became the only part of the company still located in Thomasville but it's now closed. The company also operates a plant in Lenoir, North Carolina.

Other companies based in Thomasville include trucker Old Dominion Freight Line.


Although Thomasville is located in Davidson County, it has its own public school system. The Thomasville City Schools system consists of four schools: Thomasville Primary (K–3), Liberty Drive Elementary (4–5), Thomasville Middle School (6–8), Thomasville High School (9–12).

Davidson County Schools has eight schools in the Thomasville area: Brier Creek Elementary (K–5), Fair Grove Elementary (K–5), Hasty Elementary (K–5), Wallburg Elementary School (K–5), Friendship Elementary School (K–5), Pilot Elementary (K–5), E. Lawson Brown Middle School (6–8), Ledford Middle School (6–8), East Davidson High School (9–12), and Ledford High School (9–12).

Local sports

Thomasville Senior High Bulldogs

Thomasville Senior High School Bulldogs won the state 1AA Football Championship from 2004 to 2006, and again in 2008. Also, the Thomasville Senior High School marching band, The Scarlet Regiment, is an award-winning band. In November 2008 the band traveled to Greensboro, NC where they participated in Asymmetrix Ent. National High Stepping Band Competition. The band placed first in the preliminary round beating over twenty bands from Washington DC all the way to Alabama. Overall in the competition they placed fifth. The band is under the direction of Christopher Hayes.[citation needed]

Year Opponent Score
2004 Wallace-Rose Hill 15–14
2005 Wallace-Rose Hill 21–20
2006 James Kenan 13–7
2008 East Bladen 42–13

The Thomasville Bulldogs are well known throughout the state for excelling in athletics, especially football.[13]

The 1995 Bulldogs were the first team in the history of NC football to go 16–0.[13]

In 2005, The Bulldogs were the first school in the history of NC athletics to win championships in football, women's basketball, and men's basketball and men's soccer in the same year.[14]


Award Years
Football State Champions 1964, 1988, 1991, 1995, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008
Basketball State Champions (Men's) 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007
Basketball State Champions (Women's) 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
Wrestling State Champions 1960, 1961, 1962, 1973, 1991
Soccer State Champions (Men's) 2005

High Point-Thomasville HiToms

Thomasville is also home to the High Point-Thomasville HiToms of the Coastal Plain League, a collegiate summer baseball league sanctioned by the NCAA. The HiToms won the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Petitt Cup, the Coastal Plain League Championship. The HiToms play at Historic Finch Field in Thomasville, which was built in 1935. From 1937–1969, Finch Field was the home to many minor league teams. Hall of Famers such as Eddie Mathews once played for the High Point-Thomasville HiToms of the original Coastal Plain League.



The Thomasville Times, a bi-weekly community newspaper, covers the city. In addition, three larger daily Triad newspapers cover Thomasville: The Winston-Salem Journal, The High Point Enterprise and The Greensboro News & Record.

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Thomasville city, North Carolina". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
  5. ^ Bob Burchette, "Thomasville: Ready for Fresh Start," Greensboro News & Record, September 23, 1990, Centennial section p. 82.
  6. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  7. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 8/27/12 through 8/31/12. National Park Service. 2012-09-07.
  8. ^ "The Big Chair"
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  10. ^ "Monthly Averages for Thomasville, NC". 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-23.
  11. ^ "Thomasville, NC Monthly Weather Forecast -". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  13. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-10-13. Retrieved 2008-10-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2009-01-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ John Weeks, "Johnny Allen", SABR (accessed 2015-05-28).
  16. ^ Dunn, Nash. "Youngest state senator holds ties to county". The Dispatch. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  17. ^ "Dan Clodfelter selected as Charlotte's new mayor". WGHP. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
  18. ^ "Tom Hall". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  19. ^ Duprez, Mike. "Hoover leads Davidson County Sports Hall of Fame 2015 class". Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  20. ^ "Norris McDonald, president of the African American Environmentalist Association, answers questions". Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  21. ^ "Biography". San Diego Padres. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  22. ^ "Bolo Perdue, DE at". NFL. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  23. ^ Powell, William S. (1994). Dictionary of North Carolina Biography. 5. University of South Carolina. pp. 124–125.
  24. ^ "Larry Thomas". Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  25. ^ "Brian Vickers". NASCAR. Retrieved 23 December 2015.

External links

This page was last edited on 25 September 2019, at 06:05
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