Have you ever thought of where your coats came from? When we think about coats, some of us can’t stop ourselves from associating them with Burlington Coat Factory.

Truth be told, Burlington, North Carolina had been known for years for its textile industry – coats included! However, the Burlington Coat Factory is definitely not the only thriving industry in Burlington.

In the past, industries in Burlington were situated in the downtown area. Quite understandably, it is where the city of Burlington started to make some noise in the different industries because of the North Carolina Railroad and Haw River. These two make the transport of goods, and flow of resources was fast and reliable.

Early Burlington

Burlington City is on the Piedmont of North Carolina. To the right, there is a coastal region and the Appalachian Mountains to the left. One of North Carolina’s three regions, the Piedmont has Burlington City almost in the middle.

In the 1700’s, the time of The Great Awakening; Irish Quakers, the English, German Lutherans, and Scotch-Irish Presbyterians traveled through the Great Wagon Road to get to North Carolina. The County of Alamance was at that time being ruled by a government whom they saw as having issues with inequitable taxation, land tenure, and corrupt governance. For this, the Battle of Alamance was fought because the settlers believed that there is a great future ahead of them.

In 1858, the settler’s town was chartered; then it saw its foundation in 1859. What started out as the Railroad Headquarters in North Carolina became a town known as Company Shops; this consisted of a bank, a restaurant, a hotel, and a church. The town’s folks sold some parts of their land for the institution of the railroad in 1859. By 1887, Burlington became the fast growing town and by February 14, 1893, the town became a city.

Known as the South’s Hosiery Center, textiles had been one of Burlington’s main industries since 1837. The Alamance Cotton Mill had produced the first dyed cotton plaids, also known as the Alamance Plaid under Edwin Michal Holt. Even if the city of Burlington had been known for its textile industry and agriculture, the city boasts of other industries, as well.

Current Historics

Operational between 1892 until 1962, the Southern Railway Station gave service to the general public, as well as the industries of Burlington. Today, this railroad station is known as the Historic Depot. It had been turned into a park with a fountain and an amphitheater for people to enjoy while the main depot is now an art museum.

The Paramount Theater had been repaired and is now being used for ceremonies, concerts, beauty pageants, and theatrical plays. It had been last renovated in 1998 to serve the modern public.

May Memorial Library had not changed much since 1916. The building used to be the United States Post Office until it was refurbished and re-opened as the library. The Municipal Building of Burlington still houses the local government.

These buildings had seen the ravages to time, as well as natural and man-made catastrophes and wearing; however, they had been repaired, restored, and even beautified to suit modern populace.