Waxhaw takes its name from the Waxhaws, named after the historic American Indian tribe that inhabited the region. The community was settled by European-Americans in the mid-1700s, of mostly German and Scots-Irish origin. They became subsistence farmers and were known for being independent. Andrew Jackson, seventh President of the United States, was born nearby in 1767. There is some disagreement as to which of the Carolinas was his birthplace, due to the proximity of the border.
The arrival of the railroad in 1901, with access to the markets of Atlanta, helped the town reach prosperity. The tracks were laid directly through the center of town, showing the importance of the railroad. They remain on the street, now bordered by a green, grassy strip dividing the rows of stores on each side.
Beginning in the late 1800s, the community was developed with cotton mills 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 to other areas and out of the country, required the community to adapt to new conditions.
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. The Town currently has dozens of specialty shops and dining ranging 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.
Residents and town government are working on additional improvement plans. The Town Park is located in the downtown area, as is a Skate Park for youths and skateboarding. New housing has been built along NC 75 to the east and west of town, as well as Hwy 16 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.
For more info, visit http://www.waxhaw.com