Established in 1882 in the late 19 th century and incorporated in 1928, the Town of Lansing is located on four-tenths of an acre in the heart of Ashe County in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. Primarily a small rural farming community since its beginnings, Lansing still retains its authentic small-town charm and proudly boasts about its one traffic light at the three-way intersection of Highway 194 and Big Horse Creek Road. As of the 2000 Federal Census, the township listed a population of 151 people, 68 households and 38 families, though these numbers will surely be a bit higher when results from the 2010 Census are released. In the past, Lansing barely survived two major fires in the 30s and 40s, and more recently survived serious flooding as a result of Hurricane Hugo in September 1989.
Despite its small size, Lansing has a proud and memorable history. In the early 20 th century, the arrival of the Norfolk & Western Railroad (also known as the Virginia Creeper, which also served Todd, West Jefferson, White Oak and other townships in Ashe County) changed the direction of Lansing’s future by triggering socioeconomic changes that are typical when modern technologies reach into rural areas. Rail transportation enabled several local iron mines to ship iron ore, and in addition to the general store and post office, other businesses included a cheese plant, a coffin shop, a medical doctor’s office, a restaurant and a bank. While these are now gone, new businesses have moved into this prosperous town, with more than 30 businesses now calling Lansing home!
Lansing residents love their town and its history and do everything possible to keep them alive in both story and practice. In fact, the former Young & Hudler Hardware Store is now home to First Citizens Bank; the old Lansing Train Depot now houses the Lansing Volunteer Fire Department; the Lansing Presbyterian Church still occupies its original building constructed from native stone in 1928; and the Lansing Grocery & Milling Company store now houses The Liar’s Bench art and antiques shop. In 2007, the New River Winery relocated its production and retail facilities into the old Lansing School that was built by the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1941 using strikingly beautiful granite sourced from local mines.