Thomasville, North Carolina

Last updated
Thomasville, North Carolina
The Big Chair 2016 (cropped).jpg
T-Vegas, Chair City, Tater Town
Location in Davidson County and the state of North Carolina
Coordinates: 35°53′9″N80°4′38″W / 35.88583°N 80.07722°W / 35.88583; -80.07722 Coordinates: 35°53′9″N80°4′38″W / 35.88583°N 80.07722°W / 35.88583; -80.07722
CountryUnited States
State North Carolina
Counties Davidson, Randolph
   Mayor Raleigh F York, Jr
  Total 16.78 sq mi (43.46 km2)
  Land16.77 sq mi (43.43 km2)
  Water0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
840 ft (256 m)
(2018) [1]
  Density1,600/sq mi (620/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
  Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 336
FIPS code 37-67420 [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".

Davidson County, North Carolina County in the United States

Davidson County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2010 census, the population was 162,878. Its county seat is Lexington, and its largest city is Thomasville.

North Carolina U.S. state in the United States

North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. North Carolina is the 28th largest and 9th-most populous of the 50 United States. North Carolina is bordered by Virginia to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Georgia and South Carolina to the south, and Tennessee to the west. Raleigh is the state's capital and Charlotte is its largest city. The Charlotte metropolitan area, with an estimated population of 2,569,213 in 2018, is the most populous metropolitan area in North Carolina, the 23rd-most populous in the United States, and the largest banking center in the nation after New York City. North Carolina's second largest metropolitan area is the Raleigh metropolitan area, with an estimated population of 1,337,331 in 2018, and is home to the largest research park in the United States, Research Triangle Park, in Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh.

High Point, North Carolina City in North Carolina, United States

High Point is a city located in the Piedmont Triad region of the state of North Carolina. Most of the city is located in Guilford County, with portions spilling into neighboring Randolph, Davidson, and Forsyth counties. High Point is North Carolina's only city that extends into four counties. As of the 2010 census the city had a total population of 104,371, with an estimated population of 108,629 in 2014. High Point is currently the ninth-largest municipality in North Carolina, and the 259th largest city in America.



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.

The North Carolina Railroad is a 317-mile (510 km) state-owned rail corridor extending from Morehead City, North Carolina to Charlotte, North Carolina. The railroad carries over seventy freight trains offered by the Norfolk Southern Railway and eight passenger trains daily. It is managed by the North Carolina Railroad Company.

A municipal corporation is the legal term for a local governing body, including cities, counties, towns, townships, charter townships, villages, and boroughs. The term can also be used to describe municipally owned corporations.

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.

American Civil War Civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865

The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The most studied and written about episode in U.S. history, the Civil War began primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people. War broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North, which also included some geographically western and southern states, proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery.

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]

Textile Material produced by twining, weaving, felting, knotting, or otherwise processing natural or synthetic fibers

A textile is a flexible material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibers. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, hemp, or other materials to produce long strands. Textiles are formed by weaving, knitting, crocheting, knotting or tatting, felting, or braiding.

Burlington, North Carolina City in North Carolina, United States

Burlington is a city in Alamance and Guilford counties in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is the principal city of the Burlington, North Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Alamance County, in which most of the city is located, and is a part of the Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point CSA. The population was 50,042 at the 2010 census, which makes Burlington the 17th largest city in North Carolina. The Metropolitan Statistical Area population was over 150,000 in 2010.

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]

Abbotts Creek Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery United States national historic site

Abbott's Creek Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery is a historic Primitive Baptist church cemetery near Thomasville, Davidson County, North Carolina.

Brummells Inn United States national historic site

Brummell's Inn is a historic inn and tavern located near Thomasville, Davidson County, North Carolina. It was originally constructed as a small log house in the late-18th / early-19th century. It was expanded about 1814 in a vernacular Late Georgian / Early Federal style, with later additions. The resultant building is two-stories and eight bays wide. Also on the property are a contributing smokehouse, barn, and cemetery. The stagecoach inn operated into the 1850s, after which it was used as a dwelling house.

Church Street School (Thomasville, North Carolina) United States national historic site

Church Street School is a historic school building for African-American students located at Thomasville, Davidson County, North Carolina. It was built in 1935-1937, and is a two-story, "T"-shaped, Colonial Revival style brick building. A two-story auditorium projects from the rear of the main building. Two-story wings built in 1951 flank the original building. A gymnasium was built the same year. Some funding for school construction was provided by the Public Works Administration.

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″N80°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
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
1860 308
1870 214−30.5%
1880 450110.3%
1890 59031.1%
1900 75127.3%
1910 3,877416.2%
1920 5,67646.4%
1930 10,09077.8%
1940 11,0419.4%
1950 11,1541.0%
1960 15,19036.2%
1970 15,2300.3%
1980 14,144−7.1%
1990 15,91512.5%
2000 19,78824.3%
2010 26,75735.2%
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 ]

2004Wallace-Rose Hill15–14
2005Wallace-Rose Hill21–20
2006James Kenan13–7
2008East Bladen42–13

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]


Football State Champions1964, 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 Champions1960, 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

Related Research Articles

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Thomasville Furniture Industries was a furniture manufacturer based in Thomasville, North Carolina, with dedicated galleries in more than 400 retail furniture stores. Additionally, there are 30 Thomasville Home Furnishing stores which carry only Thomasville products. The company had been a subsidiary of Clayton, Missouri-based Furniture Brands International since 1995. Heritage Home Group bought most of that company's assets in 2013 and announced the end of Thomasville Furniture's operations in Thomasville in 2014.

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Thomasville Downtown Historic District United States national historic site

Thomasville Downtown Historic District is a national historic district located at Thomasville, Davidson County, North Carolina. The district encompasses 46 contributing buildings, 1 contributing site, 2 contributing structures, and 2 contributing objects in the central business district of Thomasville. It includes commercial and governmental buildings built between 1871 and 1938. Located in the district is the separately listed Thomasville Railroad Passenger Depot. Other notable contributing resources include The Big Chair (1950), the former City Hall (1938), the former Davidson County Office Building, the former United States Post Office (1926), (former) Davidson County Office Building (1957), the Dr. Orien R. Hodgin Dental Office, the North State Telephone Warehouse, First National Bank of Thomasville (1922), C. R. Thomas Block, and the Lambeth Furniture Company/Thomasville Chair Company.


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