Pineville, incorporated in 1873, was named for the large and abundant pines that cast their shadows over the community. At the time it was known as a mule trading center which was located at the intersection of two major Indian trading routes. The area was home to vast meadows where the traders could turn their animals out to pasture and the area became known as Morrow’s Turnout. This area also served as a stagecoach stop, and in 1852 when the Depot opened, it became a stop for the Charlotte & Columbia Railroad. The railroad was the first step into the ‘modern world’ for the town and it was about that time when the name was changed to Pineville.
It is the birthplace of James K. Polk, the 11th US President. Although the home is no longer standing, an original cabin from that time period is kept there to symbolize the one he was born in. There are two reconstructed log cabins, a main house, a cookhouse, and a log barn, all representative of the ones built c.1790. Ladybird Johnson came to Pineville in the 1960’s to dedicate the new state site.
During the 1880’s and 1890’s, Pineville became a booming agricultural and textile center. In 1890 Dover Yarn Mill opened its doors and by 1902 they employed over 200 people. The mill later became Cone Mill and operated in Pineville until the late 1970’s.
By 1903 Pineville’s population had grown to 700 and was the largest of the outlaying towns in Mecklenburg County, located just eleven miles south of the City of Charlotte.
After the Great Depression of the 1930’s, Pineville’s growth slowed substantially when cotton production declined in the Carolina Piedmont and agriculture as a whole became less prominent in Mecklenburg County.
Over the next 60 years Pineville sustained a steady growth until the 1990’s when Pineville experienced a fundamental transformation, inundated by the impact of suburbanization giving rise to an abundance of retail establishments including Carolina Place Mall.