Matthews, NC began as a small farming community in the 1800s. Cotton farmers cleared the land for new plantings, leaving tree stumps in all directions; thus, the first name for the community became known as "Stumptown". The history of Matthews runs deep, but most of the town’s 25,000 residents moved to Matthews in the past decade, attracted by affordable subdivisions, strong schools and the historic, pedestrian-friendly downtown. Some historic Matthews homes remain around the fringes of Matthews town center, however the area has seen tremendous growth with new subdivisions. Homes in Matthews range from new transitionals to historic colonials to craftsman style.
Major subdivisions in Matthews: Callonwood, Heather's Gate, Matthews Plantation, Shannamara, Matthews Grove, Matthews Ridge, Hampton Green, Brookhaven, Providence Hills, Waybridge, Wellington Woods, Rose Hill, Quintessa, Deerfield Creek, Chestnut Place, Bellegrove Manor, The Forest, Reverdy End, Highgate, Lake Providence, Stratford Hall, Rivendell Estates, Poplar Forest, Weddington Oaks, Providence Woods, Julian Meadows, Glen Devon, Chestnut, Hearthstone, Sardis Plantation, Belle Meade, Blackberry Ridge, Wood Hollow, Habersham, Forest Ridge, Ashley Farms, Heathers, St. Clair, Drextel Glen, Saddlebrook, Marshbrooke, Glenwood Manor, Sardis Grove, Callaway Plantation, Callaway Forest..
Matthews also has a popular, active Farmer's Market near the town center which operates all year long with local, seasonal produce. Matthews also continues to grow with new shops, restaurants, a park and recreation department, and satellite campuses for Central Piedmont Community College andWingate University.
Initial settlers were drawn to the area that is now Matthews because of its sprawling panorama of forest and rich soil. Both farmers and hunters came to the area to expand upon their trades, and by the 1800s cotton became a prosperous commodity.
After being incorporated in 1875, Matthews began on the path towards being a prosperous community. By the 1900s, the town was home to several merchants; cotton gins were constantly running to meet the demand of the nation. Their first school opened in 1907 and the town continued to embrace the emerging railroad industry.
During the 1920s, cotton ginning was the biggest business in Matthews and sustained the town throughout the following two decades, including the Great Depression of the 30s. Within that time period electrical power emerged and campaigns to update for the new technology began. Schools were remodeled and the Bank of Matthews and the Matthews Livery Stable were constructed. For the next few decades, up to the late 1950s, Matthews went through more changes, including the growth of its library. The Matthews library had to be moved twice - first from the general store to the livery stable, and then finally settling to its current location on West John Street in 1957.