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High Point, North Carolina - Furniture Capital Of The World

Updated on September 21, 2007

Known as the "Furniture Capital of the World," High Point is a center for hospitality, community spirit, and commerce. The High Point, Winston-Salem, and Greensboro areas form the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina. Although most of the city is located in Guilford County, portions also lie in neighboring Forsyth, Davidson, and Randolph counties. It is the only city in the state that extends into four counties.


The chief engineer of the North Carolina Railroad drove a spike at the southwestern corner of Guilford county and declared that it was the highest point on the railroad line. This was the origin of the city's name. The intersection of the railroad and the Great Western Plank Road became a center of activity. Hotels and restaurants began to spring up in the area to accommodate travelers.

Early growth in the area was made possible by its centralized location and transportation, which accommodated the delivery of materials like lumber, cotton, and processed goods in and out of the city. Incorporation took place in 1859, and the first of many furniture factories opened in 1889.

Quakers and German immigrants were among the first Europeans to settle the area. Pennsylvania Quakers came to the region in search of religious freedom, moderate climate, affordable land, and the opportunity to create a principled and orderly community.

When the 20th century rolled around, over 30 furniture companies were operational in High Point. The city also began to diversify into other businesses as a result of the industrial age. Adams-Millis, which would become largest manufacturer of hosiery in the world, was formed in 1904. A few years later, streetcars and trolleys were being built by Thomas Car Works, which eventually transformed into one of the national leaders in school bus manufacturing.

After the formation of the Southern Furniture Manufacturers Association, the Southern Furniture Exposition Building opened in 1921. In a tradition which continues today, area residents opened their homes and hearts to 149 furniture exhibitors and 700 retail buyers. Today, the city is the site of the largest home furnishing trade show in existence, bringing together as many as 80,000 buyers and sellers every six months from across America and more than 100 other countries.

The city is home to High Point University, a private Methodist institution founded in 1924. It is a member of Division I of the NCAA and the Big South Conference. High Point also has one of the few Bentley dealerships in the southeastern United States.

Area Attractions / Things To See & Do

  • Angela Peterson Doll and Miniature Museum - One of the region's largest doll & miniature museums.
  • Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library - World's largest collection of books on the history of furniture and interior design.
  • High Point City Lake Park - Recreation and amusement park located on the shores of 340 acre lake with boating, fishing, paddle boats, picnic areas, fishing, boat and canoe rentals, historic carousel, train, waterslide, largest outdoor swimming pool in the state, miniature golf, gym, playground and excursion boat.
  • High Point Community Theatre - Presents American musicals, dramas and comedies performed by local actors. Also has an education program, featuring classes, workshops and camps for children and adults.
  • High Point Museum and Historical Park - Museum commemorating the history of High Point, coupled with interpretative exhibit of log Blacksmith Shop and 1786 Haley House. .
  • Historic Castle McCulloch Gold Mill - Built in 1832 and operated primarily as a gold processing center serving local gold mining operations. Now open as a special events center.
  • Millis Regional Health Education Center - Interactive health education center with features depicting facets of human anatomy and health.
  • Museum of Old Domestic Life - Quaker museum established around 1926 in 1858 Springfield Meeting House. Contains a wide variety of artifacts from typical colonial Quaker homesteads.
  • North Carolina Shakespeare Festival - Presents classic and contemporary plays in the High Point Theatre.
  • Piedmont Environmental Center - 375 acres of hiking trails adjacent to High Point City Lake, nature preserve, nature store, and small animal exhibits.
  • Sechrest Gallery - Houses permanent collections of 18th and 19th century British Art coupled with rotating exhibitions. Located at High Point University.
  • Train Depot & Veteran's Memorial Park - The restored depot still serves trains daily. Veteran's Memorial Park is dedicated to High Point soldiers who fought in wars.
  • World's Largest Chest of Drawers - Symbol of the city since 1926.


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