The Town of Davidson was originally not a town at all. In 1835, the Concord Presbytery wanted to build a men’s college so 469 acres were purchased from William Lee Davidson II and Davidson College opened it’s doors in 1837. The town is named for General William Lee Davidson, who was killed fighting the British at the battle of Cowans Ford in 1781.
Originally, the college controlled all of the aspects of the town including the police and town government. Then in 1879, the town was incorporated and became Davidson College. However, that name didn’t last long as in 1891, the town’s name was changed to just Davidson.
As Mecklenburg county’s most northerly city, Davidson is bordered by Lake Norman to the west, Mooresville and Iredell County to the north and Cabarrus county to the east. Today, Davidson College is still a big part of the Town of Davidson. The adjacent downtown is a charming with its old growth trees, brick and glass storefronts, and cafe’s.