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Siler City - A brief history

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Founded in 1887, Siler City is the largest town located within Chatham County’s borders. Located in the western part of the county, it is convenient to the Greensboro Triad area as well as the Triangle. Two major highways, US 421 and US 64 cross in Siler City.

The town of Siler City developed after the opening of a railroad between Sanford and Greensboro in 1884. A train depot was established along that railroad at Matthews Crossroads in Western Chatham County. The depot was named Siler Station after Samuel Siler, who donated the land. The railroad sparked the growth of general merchandise and agricultural businesses.

By 1887, this area had seven stores, a tobacco warehouse, three livery stables, three hotels, a planing mill, a sawmill and a cotton gin. In March of that year, the General Assembly of North Carolina incorporated the Town of Siler City.

One of the major industries in the late 1800's was the Chatham Rabbit Market. According to history, Siler City was the largest shipping point for rabbits in the county and probably the state. Other significant industries that lead to Siler City's growth were poultry and eggs. The period from 1900 to 1913 marked record growth and expansion during which time the population doubled.

The downtown area includes many historic buildings, which currently house shops and restaurants, banks, churches, and even an arts incubator. Several murals illustrating the town’s history and culture have been painted on exterior walls of buildings throughout town. Several of Chatham county’s major industries are located in Siler City, including textile plants and poultry processors.

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