The city of Lenoir was
officially established through
the auctioning of land lots in
County, of which
Lenoir is the county seat, was
formed the same year.) European settlers had
occupied the area for close to
a hundred years before that,
following on the many
hundreds of years of Cherokee
presence and of other Native
Americans even earlier.
In 1877, at the time of the
Davenport fire, Lenoir did not
yet have any fire fighting
equipment, though it would
shortly thereafter. In 1877, fires were
fought with private bucket brigades in
which every man who could took
Passenger rail service came to
Lenoir in the Summer of 1884.
Before that, all travel to the
town was by horse-drawn coach or
other private conveyance. (As
has been true again since 1950.)
A three-wall panorama of the
Davenport campus after 1926
serves as a background in one of
the upstairs exhibits in the
Museum. This depiction of the
1877 Main Building shows also
the 1905 Main Building Annex.
May 1888, the artist F. A.
Grace wrote a letter on traveling
through Lenoir, "Upon a prominant [sic] knoll to the
right of the road as we came
into town is Davenport College.
The grounds surrounding, is a
perfect natural building site
and lawn, except for the left
side where it had to be terriced
[sic]. Then combined building
and grounds looked quite grand
and imposing, and especially so
because I did [not] expect to
meet with such structures here
among the mountains or more
properly speaking at the foot of
of the artist's work in
House in Hickory.
Comments on this page?
College of Lenoir: brief history
Davenport College historical marker.
mini-history was researched and compiled by Karin
Borei, Museum volunteer.
Some of the
historical details are from a
typescript history of the college written
John O. Hawkins. Others are from Nancy Alexander's Here Will
I Dwell: the Story
Caldwell County (1956); and
still others are from materials in the Caldwell Heritage Museum's
collections and library documents.
History relative to
the Greensboro College merger is from the Brock Historical Museum of Greensboro
College website (accessed in late 2008).
Some Davenport College
yearbooks have been digitized courtesy of the North
Carolina Digital Heritage Center (NCDHC) and are now
through the Brock Museum: 1905 (Memandex),
1906-1911 & 1913 (Galax), and 1932 (Hilltop