In the 1850s, Charles Shaw acquired a state land grant in southern Moore County. It included a high ridge where he began cutting pines.
In 1876, the Raleigh August Railroad came through. Most of the trees were gone a few years later when John T. Patrick purchased 675 acres of land for $1,265 to build a health resort. He named the streets after Northern States.
Southern Pines proved to be an ideal place for travel-weary train passengers to break their journey down from the north to Florida. By 1887, Southern Pines was a thriving resort.
After World War I, novelist and publisher James Boyd initiated the equestrian and literary pursuits that remain as a big fact for this day. Southern Pines is the largest town in Moore County.
In 2004, the Southern Pines Business Association opened a Visitor Welcome Center adjacent to the Train Station in downtown Southern Pines. This museum is furnished with many artifacts and photographs of this unique area.