Local lore, historic homes on tour of Cornelius

The first walking tour of Cornelius - the North of Catawba (Avenue) tour April 9 - was such a success that the Cornelius Historic Preservation Commission will have another one.

The tour, at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, will cover the same route as the previous one.

The starting point is the parking lot of the town hall. The tour takes about an hour-and-a-half, is about a mile-and-a-quarter long and is a fairly level route (just one hill to climb).

On the walking tour, you can learn about when and how the town was incorporated and what the Stough-Cornelius Cotton Mill meant to the town.

Also, you'll see homes built as early as 1896 and hear local lore that troops made camp in Cornelius during the Revolutionary War on their way to fight at the Guilford Courthouse.

Future guided walking tours are planned to spread even more knowledge about the history of Cornelius. The commission plans to highlight Mount Zion Church, homes on Catawba Avenue, historic Smithville and the Smithville Rosenwald School, and the Oak Street Mill and surrounding mill homes.

"The walking tours promote the work of historic preservation, encourage exercise suitable for the entire family, educate students, townspeople and visitors about the evolution of Cornelius, encourage activity in our town center and introduce walkers to businesses along the walking route," according to a news release from the town.

Wheelchair basketball championship

Get set for Aug. 7-14, when the National Wheelchair Basketball Association's International Tournament of Champions will come to the Lake Norman area.

Teams will have training camps in the area as early as July 31. The competitions will be in Cornelius and Huntersville and possibly in Davidson.

This event will bring 250 of the world's most elite wheelchair basketball teams to compete for the championship. The event should also generate about $502,500 in visitor spending, officials estimate.

The USA men's team and teams from Canada, Germany, Great Britain and Japan will try to knock off Australia, the defending 2010 world champions. The USA women will defend their titles of world champions and Paralympics champions against Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and Japan.

The games will be Web broadcast worldwide on NWBA U-TV.

"The NWBA, with its International Tournament of Champions wheelchair basketball tournament, has been totally embraced with great Southern hospitality by Visit Lake Norman and the Cornelius and Huntersville Parks and Recreation Departments," said NWBA President Dick Bryant.

"The anticipation of the top elite international wheelchair basketball coming to these communities is exciting. ... These are places they will never forget, with the best darn folks in America."

The NWBA was begun in 1948 by World War II veterans after many came home with disabilities. Today, the NWBA consists of men's, women's, intercollegiate and youth teams throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its mission is to provide qualified people with physical disabilities the opportunity to play, learn and compete in wheelchair basketball.

For more information about the NWBA, go to For details about the tournament, contact Travis Dancy at 704-987-3300 or