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November 03 , 2007

A Walking Tour of Lexington, North Carolina


There is no better way to see America than on foot. And there is no better way to appreciate what you are looking at than with a walking tour. Whether you are preparing for a road trip or just out to look at your own town in a new way, a downloadable walking tour is ready to explore when you are.

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Each walking tour describes historical and architectural landmarks and provides pictures to help out when those pesky street addresses are missing. Every tour also includes a quick primer on identifying architectural styles seen on American streets.

There were settlers to this area by 1750 but the small cluster of buildings that passed for a village was so inconsequential no one got around to naming it. When the residents heard tell of the heroic acts taking place in Lexington, Massachusetts the residents adopted the name Lexington.

The town's history is a familiar tale in the Piedmont. Some furniture making and some textile manufacturing fueled the economy. But even after the North Carolina General Assembly sliced away a chunk of Rowan County in 1822 and named it after Revolutionary War General William Lee Davidson who fell in the Battle of Cowan's Ford and selected Lexington as its county seat, great spurts of growth did not follow.

Lexington fancies itself the "Barbecue Capital of the World" and boasts its own style of smoked meat using a vinegar-based red sauce infused with ketchup, pepper and other spices. The sauce also serves as the seasoning base for "red slaw," which is coleslaw made by using Lexington-style barbecue sauce in place of mayonnaise. Each October the town plays host to the Lexington Barbecue Festival. The event was the brainchild of Joe Sink, Jr., publisher of Lexington's daily newspaper, The Dispatch, back in 1984. The first festival was a success with 30,000 people feasting on 3,000 pounds of barbecued pork shoulder and has grown five-fold since.

Main Street in Lexington was built mostly between 1880 and 1920. Few buildings from that time have been destroyed, few buildings have been added since. Most have been modernized and altered to suit new tenants so look up to capture the flavor of Lexington a century ago on our walking tour that will begin in the square where the town's main streets come together...

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