Homes for Rent in Morganton, NC: What You Need to Know
Morganton is a city along the Catawba River in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s the seat of Burke County in the western part of North Carolina.
The area used to be a wilderness where Catawba and Cherokee tribes hunted. The city was established in 1777 originally as Morgansborough after Brig. Gen. Daniel Morgan, a hero of the Revolutionary War. Later the name was changed to Morgantown, and finally to Morganton. In 1784, Morganton was chosen as the site of a circuit court for the North Carolina frontier. The low-profile city was in the news on Jan. 31, 2006, because of a massive explosion at the local plant of Synthron Inc., a paint additive chemical manufacturer. It killed one worker and injured about a dozen others.
Morganton (population: 16,577 people) has a history of attracting immigrants, from the Scots-Irish and German settlers in the 1750s to the Hmong refugees in the 1970s. In the 1990s, an influx of Central American immigrants worked in the poultry, textile, and furniture industries. In 1995, a group of Guatemalan poultry workers at Morganton's Case Farms was at the center of a labor strike and the struggle for better working conditions. However, their effort to organize a union failed.
Things to Do in Morganton
The Catawba River Greenway Park is popular with hikers and bikers for its 3.8 miles of paved trail following the river. You’ll find picnic shelters, a playground, and fishing piers along the trail. If you’re up for a rougher adventure, the Brown Mountain OHV Trail offers 34 miles of paths for bikes and ATVs.
Cost of Living
Morganton’s cost of living rate and housing costs are 1.5% and 36.5% lower than the national average, respectively. The median gross rent is $645. However, the food cost in Morganton is 11.1% higher than the national average. North Carolinians pay a flat rate of 5.25% in state income tax and 4.75% in statewide sales tax plus separate county sales tax ranging from 2% to 2.75%.
Know Your Neighborhoods
More people are moving to downtown neighborhoods, thanks to a long-standing revitalization project that spurred mixed-use development of old buildings into business space and residential condominiums. Suburbanites are drawn to towns such as Valdese and Glen Alpine for their superb schools. Both are just a hop, skip, and jump from Morganton. In Glen Alpine, Lake James is also a major draw for great fishing and biking trails.