Posted by: Roby Robertson | March 6, 2008

Cornelius is a Lake Norman Town Gone From Mills to Upscale Shops


Lake Norman and Cornelius, So much to do for everyone!

Cornelius was known as a prosperous mill village surrounded by miles of farm land. In recent years, the town has transformed into one of Charlotte’s thriving bedroom communities with upscale Lake Norman lake-front homes, restaurants and retails shops. Cornelius is part of a thriving Lake Norman area with easy access to the Lake, Shopping and Charlotte.

HISTORY: Cornelius was formed after a dispute in Davidson over the appointment of an official cotton weigher. One of those weighers, R.J. Stough, moved his business from Davidson to an area south of the town. Stough received financial support from Joseph Cornelius for a cotton mill in 1891.

LANDMARKS: Mount Zion United Methodist Church on Zion Street. The 179-year-old church is one of the town’s oldest churches and features a Civil War monument on its site that was erected in 1910. The town has given a historical designation to the 84-year-old Smithville Rosenwald School building, a former three-room schoolhouse for African American children.

WHAT THE LOCALS KNOW: Get the best-tasting chicken at the Cornelius-Lemley Fire & Rescue Chicken Barbecue at 19729 S. Main St. More than 900 chicken halves are prepared for the event. Cooking begins at 5 a.m. The event happens the fourth Saturday of January, March and October.

ON THE JOB: The town’s top employers include Curtis Screw Co., Foamex, Michael Waltrip Racing, Lake Norman YMCA, Harris Teeter, Lake Norman Chrysler Jeep Dodge and Scurry Construction

NOTABLES: Former Charlotte Sting basketball player Andrea Stinson was born in Cornelius. She played for the Eastern Conference All-Star Team in 2001.

CHOW: Don’t miss the country-style steak and vegetable soup at The Cook House. Also try the gigantic Philly cheese steak sandwiches at Laspada’s Original Philly, and chicken pitas at Big Bite’z Grill.

SEE THE SIGHTS: Go cycling or play tennis at the 106-acre Jetton Park on Lake Norman. Check out the 46-acre waterfront park and sunning beaches at Ramsey Creek Park, and the back deck of the Rusty Rudder for another eye-popping view of the lake.

DON’T MISS: Heritage Hall, a 13-foot mural and timeline that depicts the town’s history inside town hall; the row of boutiques and antique shops on Catawba Avenue.

Cornelius Facts

FOUNDED: 1905.




LOCAL TAX RATE: 27.5 cents per $100

TOWN CONTACT INFORMATION:704-892-6031; Cornelius Website

Contact your Lake Norman Agent for more information. 

Source of information: The Charlotte Observer.


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