Waxhaw, North Carolina

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Waxhaw, North Carolina
Downtown Waxhaw
Downtown Waxhaw
"Proud of Our Past. Passionate About Our Future."
Location of Waxhaw, North Carolina
Location of Waxhaw, North Carolina
Coordinates: 34°55′42″N 80°44′41″W / 34.92833°N 80.74472°W / 34.92833; -80.74472Coordinates: 34°55′42″N 80°44′41″W / 34.92833°N 80.74472°W / 34.92833; -80.74472
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
 • MayorRon Pappas
 • Total12.05 sq mi (31.20 km2)
 • Land11.96 sq mi (30.97 km2)
 • Water0.09 sq mi (0.23 km2)
686 ft (209 m)
 • Total9,859
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,433.94/sq mi (553.63/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)704
FIPS code37-71460[4]
GNIS feature ID0996880[5]

Waxhaw is a town in Union County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 9,859 according to the 2010 Census.[2] The name is derived from the local people who lived in the area known as the Waxhaw people.


Waxhaw is located at 34°55′42″N 80°44′41″W / 34.92833°N 80.74472°W / 34.92833; -80.74472 (34.928201, -80.744835).[6] Ronald P Pappas is the current mayor of the Town of Waxhaw.[7]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 11.54 square miles (29.9 km2). Waxhaw is located north of Lancaster, South Carolina and lies about twelve miles south of the Charlotte city limit. Waxhaw is part of Union County, North Carolina.

Waxhaw is located in the historic region called the Waxhaws and named after the indigenous Native American tribe that lived there prior to colonial settlement. Waxhaw is in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, which is a wooded area with rolling hills. This region is where gold was first discovered in the United States. The Howie Gold Mine is not far from the city limits. The Howie Gold mine operated until World War 2, when most mines were shut down due to the war effort. By 1935 50,000 ounces of gold was mined from this location.[8]


Footbridge over the railway tracks

The original inhabitants of the region were a Native American people group known alternately as either the Wysacky or the Waxhaws. The first European to record contacting the group was the Spanish conquistador Juan Pardo. In 1711 the Waxhaw aided the colonists of North Carolina in their war against the Tuscarora, a decision which antagonized the Tuscaroras Iroquoian allies in New York[9] who subsequently began raiding the Waxhaw tribe. These raids continued until 1715 when the Waxhaw joined the Yamasee war effort against the colony of South Carolina. The tribes involvement in the Yamasee War led to their destruction at the hands of South Carolina's Catawba allies and the freeing of their land for European settlement. The area was first settled by European-Americans in the mid-eighteenth century. Most settlers were of German and Scots-Irish origin. Settlers became subsistence farmers and were known for being independent. Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States, was born nearby in 1767. There is some disagreement as to which of the Carolinas was his birthplace because of the proximity of the border. However, there are historical marker signs around Waxhaw, NC describing Andrew Jackson's early connection to the area; as well this is referenced at the Museum of the Waxhaws.[10] Andrew Jackson State Park is minutes from downtown Waxhaw, which has a memorial and other information about Andrew Jackson.

The arrival of the railroad in 1888 created access to the markets of Atlanta and helped the town reach prosperity. The railroad tracks were laid through the center of town to show the importance of the railroad system to the community. The railroad remains in the center of town and is now bordered by a green grassy strip that divides the rows of stores on each side.

Beginning in the late 19th century, the community began to develop cotton mill factories for manufacturing textiles. The railroad helped increase access for its products. Cotton manufacturing was important to the region through the 1940s. Postwar changes in the economy, with shifts of the textile industry to jobs in other areas and out of the country, required the community to adapt to new conditions.

Waxhaw Today[edit]

Waxhaw has evolved as an antique and fine dining center. Its Small Town Main Street committee is working on an integrated approach to developing and marketing the historic center of town. Waxhaw currently has dozens of specialty shops and dining restaurants. Restaurants located in town range from mom & pop restaurants to fine dining bistros. The Waxhaw Historic District is on the National Register of Historic Places. It includes retail businesses as well as architecturally significant houses near the center of town. Also listed is the Pleasant Grove Camp Meeting Ground.[11]

Residents and town officials are working on additional improvement plans. In the downtown area, there is a town park and a skate park for youths. Near the skate park is a playground and walking area connected to downtown. New housing has been built along NC 75 to the east and west of town, as well as NC 16 (Providence Road) to the north.

Near Waxhaw is Cane Creek Park, a 1,050-acre (4.2 km2) park, featuring scenic areas and recreation activities. The facility, on Harkey Road south of Waxhaw, was a cooperative venture between Union County, the Union Conservation District, and the Soil Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Waxhaw is currently undergoing significant suburban development, and has grown by 6.4% in the last year alone.[12] New developments including individual residential housing, apartments, townhouses, and commercial complexes.

Waxhaw's downtown area is built surrounding a train track, with parking. Guests can walk over a historic bridge to go over the train tracks, and there is a viewing area. It is also a few minutes walk to a Skateboard Park and Playground.[13] Although the train doesn't follow a public schedule, viewers try to guess the times when the train will come for viewing. Sometimes a train employee will stand on the bridge.


Waxhaw has a Board of Commissioners which consists of five members. All five members are elected to 4 year terms in non-partisan elections that take place on odd numbered years. Three seats are up one year and then two years later the other 2 seats come up for election at the same time as the mayor. There are no districts and the top vote recipients win the seats.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)17,147[3]73.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[14]

As of the census[2][15] of 2010, there were 9,859 people, 3,242 households, and 2,626 families residing in the town. For the population density, there were 854.0 people per square mile (329.95/km2) and 3,517 housing units. As for the racial makeup of the town, there were 78.1% White, 11.00% African American, 2.1% from two or more races, 2.0% Asian, and 0.04% Native American. The Hispanic or Latino of any race was 6.4% of the population.

There were 3,242 households, out of which 41.8% had children under the age of eighteen living with them, 81.0% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.0% were non-families. The average household size was 3.04 and the average family size was 3.41.

In the town, the population age range was from 34.6% under the age of 18, 3.1% from 20 to 24, 32.3% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34.5 years. For every 100 females there were 93.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.8 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $73,188.[2] The per capita income for the town was $27,949. The percentage of people below the poverty line was 8.9%.

Local schools[edit]

Public elementary schools[edit]

  • Kensington Elementary School
  • Sandy Ridge Elementary School
  • Waxhaw Elementary School
  • Western Union Elementary School
  • New Town Elementary School
  • Rea View Elementary School
  • Marvin Elementary School
  • Prospect Elementary School

Public middle schools[edit]

  • Marvin Ridge Middle School
  • Parkwood Middle school
  • Cuthbertson Middle School

Public high schools[edit]

Private schools[edit]

Charter schools[edit]

  • Union Day Charter School
  • Union Academy
  • Apprentice Academy of North Carolina


The Waxhaw branch of the Union County Public Library system was founded in 1937 with the support of the Waxhaw Womens Club and the WPA. It is located at 509 S. Providence St.[16]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "Waxhaw (town) QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau". United States Census. Retrieved 2012-11-24.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  4. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  7. ^ "Mayor Ronald P Pappas". Waxhaw.com. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  8. ^ Caponigro, Rocky (October 19, 2008). "The Howie Gold Mine was in service until 1942". The Charlotte Observer. The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  9. ^ Ramsey, William L. (2008-01-01). The Yamasee War: A Study of Culture, Economy, and Conflict in the Colonial South. U of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0803237448.
  10. ^ Waxhaws, Museum of the. "President Andrew Jackson's Connection to Waxhaw". museumofthewaxhaws.org/. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  11. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  12. ^ Hall, Matthew (Feb 18, 2020). "Traffic in Charlotte hits a roadblock in the suburbs". Niner Times. Niner Times. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  13. ^ "David G Barnes Children's Park". Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  14. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  15. ^ "American FactFinder Census 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2020-02-12. Retrieved 2012-12-11.
  16. ^ "Library Association of Waxhaw". libraryassociationofwaxhaw.org. Retrieved 2020-11-28.

External links[edit]