Rutherfordton’s 225th Year Birthday is being celebrated with various activities throughout the year. Today the celebration begins with a Celebration kick off.
April 14th – Birthday Kickoff “Celebrating Main Street”
May 5th – May Fest & “Celebrating Cultural Heritage”
June 2nd -“Celebrating Landmarks & Architectural Heritage” – Tours of historic homes, St. John’s Church, and guided walking tours are taking shape.
July 4th – An Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration-Soap Box Derby
Aug – “Celebrating Education & Healthcare”
Sept – “Celebrating Gold Heritage” – Premier of Documentary
Oct. 4th – 7th – “Celebrating Rev. War Events – Hilltop Festival
Nov. – “Celebrating Faith Heritage & Churches
Dec. 1st – Finale 225th Celebration Christmas Parade
Both the Town and our County are named after General Gifford Rutherford, who was a General during the Revolutionary War. Our little town has so many interesting historical places and events that date back prior to the revolutionary war.
Historical facts by Robin S. Lattimore “During the American Revolution the corps of Patriots known as the Over Mountain Men marched through present-day Rutherfordton on their way to the Battle of Kings Mountain. The Patriots defeated British troops under the command of Maj. Patrick Ferguson on October 7, 1780.
In the 1830s and 1840s, Rutherfordton was home to a successful private mint which produced more than $2.25 million dollars in gold coinage. The mint, founded by Christopher Bechtler, Sr. in 1831, is credited with producing the nation’s first $1 gold coin. The Bechtler family also manufactured fine jewelry, watches, clocks and candlesticks. The family is equally noted as gunsmiths, for their production of long guns and pistols.
During the Civil War, Rutherfordton was ransacked by Union soldiers. In the final days of the conflict, in April 1865, U.S. General George Stoneman sent troops into Rutherfordton to quell rebel uprising and pro-Confederate sentiment and to gather much needed supplies for his troops. During the event, known as Stoneman’s Raid, at least three buildings here were destroyed by fire. The office of The Rutherford Enquirer was burned to the ground as was the telegraph office and a livery stable. The post office was ransacked, and several private homes were commandeered for military use. Following the war, Rutherfordton was occupied for 11 months by federal troops and placed under martial law because of civil unrest.
Cleghorn Creek in Rutherfordton was the location of an iron foundry which manufactured ball shot ammunition for the Confederate Army. Also, oral tradition says that wagon wheels and frames were manufactured along the creek here for use by the Confederacy. A member of the Congress of the Confederate States of America (CSA), Judge G.W. Logan, is buried in the Rutherfordton City Cemetery. In addition, Confederate Brigadier-General Collette Leventhorpe was an antebellum resident of Rutherfordton and returned to live in the town for a time in the 1870s.”