History of Flat Rock NC

It all began in the year 1807, when the first human settlements started to plod into Flat Rock NC. This town later took pride of place in the Henderson County in the state of North Carolina.

Before the White man arrived in the early nineteenth century, it was a site for Cherokee gatherings and huge granite boulders and hillocks dominated the landscape. It was the sort of place in wilderness that very few frequented before the settlements. Early settlers were from the South low country, hard nosed plantation owners and Europeans comprising mainly the Charlestonians. The houses and summer estates they built were after the English style and manner.

The first great estate that was coming up in 1827 was called Mountain Lodge being built by Charles Baring belonging to the illustrious house of Baring banking firm of London. This estate stretched over three thousand acres in all directions and till today stands majestically beckoning the visitors to savor the grandness and sense of history. Charles Baring was a deeply religious man, and he built what is now known as St John in the Wilderness Episcopal Church on his private estate.

At about the same time, Judge Mitchell King of Charleston SC was quietly building his own estate later to be named as Argyle. He was instrumental in paving out of the main street of the town to soon take shape and donated land on which Hendersonville came up.

As news spread, Flat Rock NC witnessed a proliferation of estates running into fifty that came up rapidly when more coastal settlement residents followed the foot trails of Barings and Kings. Yellow fever, malaria and sweltering heat down in the low county in South Carolina was taking a heavy toll and what better place than flat rock to escape all the miseries.

As you drive into Flat Rock NC, you will find to your surprise most of these estates still standing proud in their historical splendor; a testimony to those wonderful times when families gathered around meals to the laughter of children, music wafting down through the fields and gardens and the aroma of fresh air, shrubs, trees and flowers hung in the air. Today they are hidden from view but a visitor driving past these estates can still catch glimpses of the majesty and glory of the monuments to history and time gone by. The white pillar porches of the houses have carried the weight of these grand structures till the present time and some of these estates are still owned by the families of the original first settlers.

Many of these lovely estates are home to planned communities today who run their affairs and activities in the pristine and green environs of these historical places. The National Register of historical places has included the whole district of Flat Rock NC in their records of historical places. Flat Rock administration and residents are striving hard to preserve the legacy they have inherited for the last two hundred years.

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