Oakboro is a small town in western Stanly County, North Carolina with a population of approximately 1800 people. Nearby communities, usually centered around country churches, bring another thousand or more into the greater Oakboro area.Oakboro is a safe, friendly town with a culturally diverse population. A warm feeling of community spirit and pride exists with a healthy respect for the past, a caring attitude toward the present, and a far-reaching vision for the future. The character of the town is defined by its businesses and institutions, and its neighborhoods.
The town is governed by a Mayor and Board of Commissioners. In 2002, these officials and other residents of the town and nearby communities participated in a study which helped define the direction Oakboro should take to meet future needs. Among the outcomes of the study was the desire of the citizens to see Oakboro maintain its small town character well into the future.
Officials of the town were quick to address the concerns revealed by the study. One action was to develop a system for parks and recreation. Recently completed portions of a a large district park located along a green way with a pond include an amphitheater, picnic shelters, and several ball fields, lighted for evening events. Other smaller community parks are scattered among communities and are maintained by the town.An addition to the park system is the Oakboro Railroad Museum. Located near the site of the original depot, this building is a replica of the first depot and will house memorabilia from the early days of the rail line.
Another major effort is the establishment and expansion of a Local Historic District for the downtown area that the Town adopted in 2008. Many of the buildings in the commercial district date to the early 1920’s and are excellent examples of the type of architecture commonly used in that period. Another historic building is the Oakboro Presbyterian Church, now owned by the Oakboro Regional Historic Foundation. Restoration of the church is in progress.Economic development is an important aspect of the survival of any town. Oakboro leaders have had the foresight to organize the Greater Oakboro Business Association, where business owners and operators, individuals, and other institutional personnel can meet together to address needs and develop opportunities to attract visitors and potential residents to the area. Town officials are also active in encouraging new and expanding industries and small businesses which diversify the local economy.
The Oakboro Branch Library, part of the Stanly County Public Library System, boasts a large circulation for a branch its size. The library offers computers, books-on-disk, and other amenities for patrons as well as hosts a home-school book and craft club. Special events such as author readings are scheduled throughout the year.The Oakboro Post Office is unique among its peers in that the staff take pride in maintaining the front of the building with seasonal flowers and other decorations.
The Oakboro Regional Historic Foundation maintains a museum in the downtown area. Housed in an historic building, the museum features a permanent display of ancient Native American artifacts unearthed at nearby Ledbetter Ford on Rocky River. Documented at 10,000 years old, this collection is supplemented with other artifacts donated by local collectors. The museum offers a view into the past of the area, including the rural life, people and institutions of bygone days, and rotating exhibits containing collections and artifacts donated or loaned by residents.