The Stanly County Chamber of Commerce was established in 1936 as an agency devoted to the growth of Stanly County and the business and professional members it serves. Located in the downtown of the county seat of Albemarle, it is an independent, not-for-profit organization and operates separately from county and city government.
In addition to its 50-plus business and community support programs, the Chamber is host to many events & programs each year:
- SCCoC Annual Membership Meeting
- Annual Reverse Raffle and Auction
- Shop Local Business Showcase
- Chamber Open Golf Tournament
- Annual Chamber Planning Conference
- Annual Legislative Breakfast
- Leadership Stanly
What is your Chamber?
History of Stanly County:
In the mid 1700s, the region which today includes Stanly County was a great, grassy plain with timber mostly along the water courses. This was one of the factors which drew settlers from Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
These Dutch, Scotch-Irish and German people left their northern homes for the same reasons they had left the old country: political and religious oppression. They settled primarily in the northern part of the area while the British came from Virginia and the Cape Fear River Basin to settle in the southern part.
Originally, all of the Yadkin area belonged to New Hanover County, but subsequent divisions attached the region now known as Stanly County to Montgomery County. In 1841, the General Assembly created Stanly County, using the Yadkin River as a natural boundary line.
The first post office for the area, established in 1826, was known as Smith’s Store, when the area was still a part of Montgomery County. Mr. George S. Smith was the owner and first postmaster. By 1841, quite a crossroads community had developed where the Old Turnpike Road from Fayetteville to Salisbury crossed the Old State Road connecting Charlotte and Raleigh. It was then that the post office was officially changed to Albemarle. The City of Albemarle was named after George Monk, Duke of Albemarle, and was incorporated February 2, 1857. The first courthouse was built in 1842, and remained in use for nearly 50 years.
At one time, river traffic came up the Yadkin to within 10 miles of Albemarle, but this has long since given way to the harnessing of the river for electricity.
There was a gold rush in the county during the 1860’s, and at one time, there were four mines in operation here. Even today, people visit New London’s Cotton Patch Gold Mine for some of the most unusual geology in North Carolina and on the hope of discovering a nugget of gold.
It was around the turn of the century that Albemarle began to blossom. The county’s first textile plant, the Efird Manufacturing Co., was organized in Albemarle in 1896. It was followed in 1899 by the Wiscassett Mills Co. which was formed by the late J.W. Cannon. The first passenger train appeared in the county around 1897.
In 1901, gold caused George 1. Whitney to attempt to dam the Yadkin River. He dreamed of gold and an empire created by electric power from the failing waters of the river, but after the expenditure of several million dollars, his dream faded. The dam that bore his name was abandoned, unfinished. The brawling boomtown became a ghost town in 1907. Then a French aluminum reduction company bought up the Whitney holding and began construction of the Narrows Dam and Power House. The town site of Badin was laid out, but World War I started, causing the Frenchmen to return home. In 1915, the Aluminum Company of America bought the holdings and the boom began again. Ever since then, the company has used electricity generated from its dams along the river to smelt aluminum at its Badin Works.
To learn more visit the Stanly County Museum website for more facts and information: