Frequently Asked Questions
This section contains some of the most frequently asked questions by visitors and residents.
Where are you located?
Who are some of the more famous Caldwell County residents?
Are you in the Blue Ridge Mountains or the foothills?
What's your size?
What is the average temperature?
What cities or towns are located in Caldwell County?
What's the population?
What's the makeup of Caldwell County's population?
What's the cost of living?
What's the average income?
What's the difference between Lenoir, NC vs. Lenoir County, NC?
Who are your major employers?
What's your education system like?
How do I contact Google in Lenoir?
What's the telephone number to the courthouse?
What's the telephone number to the NC Driver's Office & License Tag Bureau?
Where is the Visitor Information Center?
Residents say the location is one of the many reasons they love Caldwell County. Caldwell County is a 20-minute drive northwest from Hickory, 1 hour and 30 minutes from downtown Charlotte and five hours from the coast. Interstate Highway 40, US Highways 64 and 321, and the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway keep Caldwell County vitally connected. An entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway is a 40-minute drive from Lenoir. Other metro areas within 100 miles include Asheville and Winston-Salem, NC, Greenville and Spartanburg, SC, and Johnson City, Kingsport and Bristol, TN.
|From Caldwell To||Distance||Time|
|Asheville||73 miles||1 hour, 30 minutes|
|Boone||28 miles||45 minutes|
|Charlotte||75 miles||1 hour, 30 minutes|
|Greensboro||118 miles||2 hours|
|Raleigh||196 miles||3 hours, 22 minutes|
|Wilmington||324 miles||5 hours, 24 minutes|
Eric Church, country music star.
Madison Bumgarner, pitcher with the San Francisco Giants
Carl Story, known as the “Father of Bluegrass Gospel” and member of The Bluegrass Hall of Fame.
Etta Baker, famous blues guitarist and recipient of the N.C. Folk Heritage Award.
George Younce, bass singer in the Cathedral Quartet and member of the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
General William Lenoir, American Revolutionary War officer and statesman. Lenoir, N.C., Lenoir County, Lenoir City, Tenn., and Lenoir Hall at the University of North Carolina are all named for him.
Jim Broyhill, elected U.S. Congressman in 1962. Served in the House of Representatives until he was appointed to the Senate following the death of John East.
Johnny Allen, American baseball pitcher for the Yankees, Indians, St. Louis Browns, Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants.
Laura Foster, Happy Valley resident who was murdered in 1866. Tom Dula was convicted and hanged for her death, and the killing was immortalized in the folks song, “The Ballad of Tom Dooley.” The song was made popular by the Kingston Trio, who recorded it in the 1950s. Laura's grave can be seen from N.C. 268 enclosed by a white fence.
Both. Caldwell County has the largest elevation change in North Carolina, from 900 feet above sea level to a towering 5,964 feet at Grandfather Mountain. Parts of Grandfather Mountain and the actual Blowing Rock are located in Caldwell County. Traveling north on U.S. 321, one will begin at 965 feet in Hickory and climb to 1,182 feet in Lenoir. After passing Lenoir, drivers will start the climb up U.S. 321 to Blowing Rock, which is situated at 3,579 feet.
The county covers 470 square miles of land, stretching from lakes in the southern end to the rivers, streams and woodland in its northern-most, mountainous regions. More than 49,000 acres of the Pisgah National Forest is located in Caldwell County. The forest covers land west of U.S. 321 and north of N.C. 18. An average of 164 people live in each one of these square miles.
Caldwell County boasts a comfortable yearly average temperature of 57.8 degrees and an average annual rainfall of 49 inches. The average temperature in July is 76 degrees and 38 degrees in January.
There are 8 incorporated communities in Caldwell County. Ranked by population, the incorporated communities are Lenoir (county seat), Sawmills, Gamewell, Granite Falls, Hudson, Cajah's Mountain, Rhodhiss, and the Village of Cedar Rock. Lenoir is the center of healthcare, industry and government.
TOTAL POPULATION (2000-2006)
|Lenoir (county seat)||18,228|
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
The total racial and ethnic distribution (2011) is 92.2% white, 5.2% black, 4.7% hispanic, 2.6% other
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
According to Market Street Services, the area's cost of living is lower than the national average.
Median Family Income (est.): $36,936
Per Capita Income: $19,632
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Many people get Lenoir County in eastern North Carolina confused with the City of Lenoir located in western North Carolina in Caldwell County. Lenoir, N.C., Lenoir County, Lenoir City, Tenn., and Lenoir Hall at the University of North Carolina are all named for General Lenoir who became famous as a captain at the Battle of Kings Mountain in 1780. William Lenoir served as major general of the state militia, president of the Council of State, president for the first two years of the Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina, justice of the peace, register, surveyor, chairman of the county court, and clerk of superior court for Wilkes County. General Lenoir's homestead, Fort Defiance, is located northeast of Lenoir in Caldwell County and is open for tours.
Caldwell County's largest employers include: Caldwell County Schools, Caldwell Memorial Hospital, Caldwell Community College, Thomasville Furniture Industries, Huffman Hosiery Mills, Kincaid Furniture Company, Broyhill Furniture Industries, Homecare Management Corporation, Walmart, Merchant Distributors, Inc., and Fairfield Chair Company. Other industries include AMP Research Technology Incubator, Bemis Manufacturing, Blue Ridge Electric, Google, Inc., Greer Laboratories, Hammary/La-Z Boy, NEPTCO, Piedmont Natural Gas, Pregis, Shuford Mills and Vantage Foods. Compared to the state and national average, Caldwell County has a higher proportion of entrepreneurs with an average income that is higher than the state average.
Sources: Market Street Services
Caldwell County's public school system boasts 17 elementary, 4 middle and 3 high schools as well as a Career Center and Early College on the campus of Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute (CCC&TI). Students have the opportunity to receive a high school education, an associate's degree and a four-year university degree, all on the campus of CCC&TI. The Career Center offers students the choice to pursue a vocational certification in fields such as construction, information technology and bio-medical occupations. The Early College affords students the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and an associate's degree in five years at no cost to the parents. Appalachian State University also offers courses at the Appalachian Center on CCC&TI. For now, the Appalachian Center offers a bachelor's degree in elementary education. CCC&TI offers educational opportunities in Caldwell and Watauga counties, including numerous curriculum programs, hundreds of corporate and continuing education certifications, special interest course and GED/basic skills training.
Visitors and residents are not permitted to visit or call the Google data center in Lenoir. All inquiries can be made through www.google.com/lenoir.
The Caldwell County Clerk of Superior Court is listed under North Carolina State Government because it is a district court. The phone number is 828-759-8402.
The local NC Driver's License Office is in Hudson. The telephone number is 828-758-1528. The License Tag Bureau is 828-728-2508.
The Caldwell County Chamber of Commerce operates two visitor centers. The Chamber offices and Visitor Information Center are located on U.S. 321, adjacent to the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir. Office hours are from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Caldwell County Chamber of Commerce also manages the Wilson Creek Visitor Center on Brown Mountain Beach Road. The Wilson Creek Visitor Center is open from April 1 through November 30.