The first settlers in Archdale, known as Bush Hill prior to 1866, were Quaker emigrants from Pennsylvania and South Carolina.
The close-knit community of Bush Hill soon became known as a leader of manufacturing and industry. The Tomlinson family’s saddle shop evolved into a successful tanning business, and was run under the name of Tomlinson Lines and Company by 1842. The tannery was located in a secluded place with unsightly shrubbery surrounding the business, thus causing one operative to name the area Bush Hill.
Bush Hill became known as a “beehive of industry,” with trades supporting leather goods, such as belts and shoes. In 1877, the community known as Bush Hill was renamed Archdale through a petition to the state legislature. The renaming was in commemoration of John Archdale, the Quaker Governor of the Colony Carolina in 1692.
Because Archdale residents seemed content to focus on small farming and business enterprises, the town charter lapsed in 1924. Several decades later, citizens felt the time had come again for self-government, and Archdale was incorporated in 1969. Since then, Archdale has continued to grow to its current population of over 9,500. City services have continually expanded to meet growth needs. The actual city encompasses 7.9 square miles with nearly 14.5 square miles in its Extra Territorial Jurisdiction. Archdale was ranked fifth by Business of North Carolina in their assessment of North Carolina’s “Best Small City.”