Early History

The original settlement of Lenoir was first known as Tucker's Barn.  The community of Tucker's Barn, which was settled by a family named Tucker around 1765, was on the north side of Lower Creek.  The Tucker homestead became a gathering place for many occasions.  It was a voting precinct, a muster ground, a store and a place for "frolics" and celebrations.  At least one large Fourth of July celebration included a drum corps, a march of Revolutionary veterans and speeches by General William Lenoir. The place was so popular that a piece of music suitable for violins was composed by a musician and entitled "Tucker's Barn".

When Caldwell Countywas formed in 1841, a commission was appointed to lay off a county seat.  There was some division over a proper site.  One party favored the south side of Lower Creek, the present day Whitnel Area, because of the scenic visibility of the Blue Ridge, but since the bulk of the citizenry lived on the north side of Lower Creek, Tucker's Barn was chosen. The choice was made because of the accessibility of Tucker's Barn in the event of a Spring "freshet".  The commission was charged with the responsibility of laying off a 25-acre site for a courthouse and jail   The new county seat was named Lenoir in honor of General William Lenoir, a Revolutionary hero and trustee of the University of North Carolina.

In 1889 the Lenoir Furniture Company was formed.  From this first factory, the furniture industry developed into an industry that would supply thousands of jobs to people not only in Lenoir, but also in the westernNorth Carolina region.  Fine-crafted furniture made in Lenoir graced homes in over thirty different countries in the world.  The Southern Furniture market brought buyers from all over the United States to Lenoir to get “sneak” previews of the furniture lines that would be on the market.  Furniture executives would host market buyers in their homes and lavish parties made Lenoir’s brand of Southern hospitality famous.