Then and Now …The Story Behind the Cultural Center at Rural Hill

Along with the many people who know and love Rural Hill and its rich culture, there are many folks that don’t know a thing about it.  So here’s a brief summary of who, what, and when of Rural Hill and our beautiful Cultural Center.


In 1761 John Davidson, a blacksmith and American born son to Scottish immigrants married Violet Wilson, daughter of the wealthy Samuel Wilson.  In 1765 John purchased 250 acres from his father-in-law near McDowell Creek.  This is what formed the nucleus of Rural Hill.  Over the following 200 years Rural Hill transitioned from one of the largest and most prosperous plantations in Mecklenburg County to a small family farm.  In 1989, after 5 generations of continuous Davidson ownership, the land was sold to Mecklenburg County by Elizabeth, John Springs, and May Davidson, the last surviving direct descendents of John Davidson.  In 2011 May Davidson, the last surviving descendent of John Davidson passed on.  She left funds to be used for “building and/or maintenance of a cultural center dedicated to preserving and celebrating Scottish Heritage”.  Her generous gift enabled Historic Rural Hill to construct the Cultural Center at Rural Hill.

Ground was broken for the new Cultural Center at the Rural Hill annual “First Footin” on January 1, 2012.  The Center was dedicated during the next “First Footin” on January 1, 2013.

The Cultural Center contains the 2,000+ square-foot May Davidson Hall, a large multi-purpose space, and the Rural Hill Scottish Heritage Library.


Great story, right??  Not only can you experience the beauty that is Rural Hill, but the culture and history that we have to offer will truly set your event apart from all the rest!