What is now Forest City began as a crossroads on the Shelby-Rutherfordton and Spartanburg-Lincolnton Roads. Originally, the town was incorporated as Burnt Chimney in 1877. A replica near the site of the original chimney adorns the public square today. The "chimney" was the remains of the McArthur home that marked the crossroads.

downtownThe name was changed to Forest City in 1887, named after a prominent citizen, Forest Davis. The 1880 census counted 110 residents in the small crossroads town. By 1890, 419 people lived in Forest City - the increase was primarily due to the coming of the railroad and the building of the Florence Mill. By 1910, Forest City was a flourishing community with 1,090 residents with electric lights and water and 12 passenger trains daily.

In 1914, the Forest City Betterment Club embarked on a project to beautify the town's Main Street and today the original landscaped medians and fountain still exist. fountainIn 1927, the town was selected as one of the ten most beautiful and best planned towns in the United States by the US Department of Agriculture. By 1940, Forest City had 4,068 residents and had established itself as the commercial hub of the county.

Today, the population of Forest City is 7,450. The town remains the commercial hub, and the legacy of "community betterment" can still be seen in the pride the town and its residents take in keeping Forest City a beautiful and livable community.

Forest City is located six miles east of Rutherfordton, the county seat, and is situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. The town is interconnected by three US highways, 74, 221, 64, and one state highway 108.
baseball practice

  • Incorporated in 1877 as Burnt Chimney.

  • Name changed to Forest City in 1887.

  • Population as of the 2003 Census Estimate is 7,450.

  • Forest City is an electric distribution city, with customers using approximately 151,281,716-kilowatt hours per year.

  • Forest City has approximately 5,783 residential water customers using some 26,980,700 gallons of water per month.

  • The Forest City Water Plant treated 1,784,420,000 gallons of water in 2003.

  • Forest City has approximately 55.68 miles of city streets, 70 miles of power lines, 100 miles of sewer lines and 150 miles of water lines.

  • The Forest City Fire Department responds to approximately 500 calls per year with an average response time of 3.18 minutes.

  • Approximately 1,200 children participate in recreation programs sponsored by the Forest City Parks and Recreation Department

  • Two senior citizens clubs are sponsored by the recreation department with 115 members.
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The Board of Commissioners will no longer hold their meetings at Town Hall. 

Due to ADA regulations, the meetings have been moved to the Cool Springs Administrative Office Building Auditorium

Meetings are held the 1st and 3rd Monday nights of each month at 6:00 p.m.


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View the video about Forest City history and Christmas lights here .
"For small town charm this mountain town is hard to beat- especially during the holiday season." by nctv-logo



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