Welcome Packet & FAQ

Where did Cooleemee get its name?
Legend has it that an Indian brave bent down on a hot day next to the river, cupped his hands and brought water to his lips. He exclaimed, “Cool-ee-me.” Hard history tells us that Jesse Pearson brought the name here. He was the son Revolutionary War militia captain, Richmond Pearson. During the War of 1812 most Creek Indians sided with the British. Gen. Andrew Jackson’s defeated them. In 1814, the “Kulami” village of Creeks (near present-day Montgomery, Alabama) surrendered to him. The name means “where the white oaks grow” and he was so intrigued by this, he came home to name his plantation on the big Yadkin River, “Cooleemee.”
Is the Cooleemee Plantation located in the Town of Cooleemee?
No. This once-elegant mansion is located near the Yadkin River off US Hwy 64 in eastern Davie County. While it is listed on the National Register of Historic Place, it is not open for public tours.
Where is Cooleemee?
We can be found by GPS at (35_48’ 52” N, 80_ 33 ‘ 22” W) in the southern portion of Davie County, North Carolina. We are approximately 6 miles from Mocksville, 13 miles from Salisbury, 25 miles west of Winston-Salem, 25 miles east of Statesville, and 58 miles west of Greensboro. Cooleemee sits on the northeast bank of the South Fork of the Yadkin River.
How big is Cooleemee?
Not very. Land within the town limits – 492 acres or about ¾ of a square mile. Population: 970 people living in just over 420 homes. Make sure to drive the speed limit– within four minutes time, you might miss us!
When was Cooleemee born?
In an area that was once a plantation called “The Shoals Farm,” land purchases by the Cooleemee Water Power & Manufacturing Company began in 1898. This was a cleaver front company for the Dukes of Durham (American Tobacco trust) who had already put some of their fortunes into a chain named Erwin Mills, headquartered in Durham. One of the state’s largest full “cotton-to-cloth” textile mills was built here along with over three hundred mill houses, a downtown square and a hotel overlooking the river.

After the mill closed in 1969, time stood still but the community persisted. In 1985, Cooleemee became an incorporated municipality. We celebrated our Centennial in 1998.

What local laws should I know about if I just moved to the Town of Cooleemee?
  • Cooleemee does have a leash law for animals.
  • A burning permit is needed to burn inside the Town Limits. Get one at Town Hall.
  • For most streets inside Cooleemee is 25 miles per hour unless otherwise posted. This is strictly enforced.
  • There is a youth curfew in Town. Sunday through Thursdays.10 pm – 6 am. Friday & Saturday it is 11 pm – 6 am.
  • You need a permit to have a yard sale. Check with Town Hall.
  • Permits are needed if you want to improve your property with a new deck, porch or outbuilding. Check with Town Hall as to whether you need a Cooleemee permit or a Davie County permit.

Click here for a complete list of Town Ordinances.

Click here to download the Cooleemee Welcome Packet
with brief recap of important ordinances

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Cooleemee, NC