Stanly County administrative offices are located at 199 North First Street, Albemarle, NC 28001; phone: 704-986-3601.
Stanly County has a rich and colorful natural and cultural history. Stanly County lies at the southwestern end of the Uwharrie Mountains, which at 500-million years of age are considered to be the oldest mountain range in North America. Evidence suggests human settlement dating back 10,000 years ago when small tribes of hunter-gatherers roamed the Piedmont region. Though the North Carolina Colony was established by the British crown in 1663, the Stanly County region was generally uncolonized until the 1780s and 1790s, owing to its isolation provided by the Yadkin and Pee Dee Rivers. An area south of Norwood was the site of an American Revolutionary War confrontation, the Battle of Colson's Ordinary, in July 1780.
Stanly County was formed from the western portion of Montgomery County by the state legislature on January 11, 1841. The county is named for John Stanly, a colorful 19th-century theorist, orator, and statesman who served in the House of Commons, state legislature, and 7th and 11th U.S. Congresses. Albemarle, the county seat and largest city in Stanly County, was incorporated in 1857.