Named in honor of Revolutionary War hero General William Lee Davidson, the county was thinly settled when founded in 1822, and was still considered the backcountry of North Carolina. Lexington had been named for the famous battle of the Revolution, and soon became the county seat.
Known for the last century as a center for furniture manufacturing, the roots of fine cabinetry in Davidson County date back many years. Throughout the 1800s, artisans such as John Swisegood, Joseph Conrad and Henry Heitman created beautiful furniture, often decorating pieces with fine veneers and inlays. Pieces attributed to the Swisegood School are highly regarded by museums and collectors, and also serve as a link between 20th century furniture manufacturing and the county's strong German heritage.
Of course you can't visit Davidson County without tasting world famous, Lexington-style pork barbecue. Using a method passed down for generations, this native delicacy is pit cooked over hickory wood then mixed with a secret vinegar-based sauce. Served piping hot, chopped or sliced, plan at least one meal that includes the barbecue that is arguably the best you'll ever eat. For the ultimate barbecue experience, plan to visit the Lexington Barbecue Festival in October. This annual celebration attracts more than a hundred thousand visitors and features music, arts crafts and, of course, loads of barbecue.
The county's largest lake, High Rock Lake fed by the Yadkin River, features 365 miles of shoreline dotted with homes and cottages. Indian artifacts can still be found along its banks. In the past few years, the 15,000-acre lake often has been the site of the BASS Master's Classic, the world's most prestigious fishing tournament.