Morrisville is a town located in both Wake and Durham counties of the U.S. state of North Carolina. The population was 18,576 at the 2010 census. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the town’s population to be 21,932 as of July 1, 2013. Morrisville is part of the Research Triangle metropolitan region. The regional name originated after the 1959 creation of the Research Triangle Park, located midway between the cities of Raleigh and Durham. The Research Triangle region encompasses the U.S. Census Bureau’s Combined Statistical Area (CSA) of Raleigh-Durham-Cary. The estimated population of the Raleigh-Durham-Cary CSA was 1,565,223 as of July 1, 2006, with the Raleigh-Cary Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) portion estimated at 994,551 residents. The U.S. headquarters of Chinese multinational Lenovo are located in the municipal limits.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 8.3 square miles (21.5 km2), of which 8.3 square miles (21.4 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.62%, is water.
Morrisville is located in the northeast central region of North Carolina, where the North American Piedmont and Atlantic Coastal Plain regions meet. This area is known as the “fall line” because it marks the elevation inland at which waterfalls begin to appear in creeks and rivers. As a result, most of Morrisville features gently rolling hills that slope eastward toward the state’s flat coastal plain. Its central Piedmont location situates the county about three hours west of Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, by car and four hours east of the Great Smoky Mountains.
The central core of Morrisville is located along the upper portion of Crabtree Creek, which then feeds into Lake Crabtree, located in the southeastern part of the town.
Morrisville enjoys a moderate subtropical climate, with moderate temperatures in the spring, fall, and winter. Summers are typically hot with high humidity. Winter highs generally range in the low 50s°F (10 to 13 °C) with lows in the low-to-mid 30s°F (-2 to 2 °C), although an occasional 60 °F (15 °C) or warmer winter day is not uncommon. This is canceled out, however, with several days where highs do not get out of the 30s. There are usually about 1 or 2 substantial snowfalls per winter, occurring mainly in February. Spring and fall days usually reach the low-to-mid 70s°F (low 20s°C), with lows at night in the lower 50s°F (10 to 14 °C). Summer daytime highs often reach the upper 80s to low 90s°F (29 to 35 °C). The rainiest months are July and August.
The area was originally named in 1852 after Jeremiah Morris. Morris donated land to the North Carolina Railroad for a depot, water tower, and other buildings. The town continued to grow as a result of the rail line and its location at the intersection of roads leading to Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and Hillsborough.
On April 13, 1865, in the Battle of Morrisville, Federal cavalry under the command of Gen. Judson Kilpatrick skirmished with the retreating Confederate armies at Morrisville Station. The Confederate troops were successful in evacuating their remaining supplies and wounded to the west toward Greensboro, but Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s cavalry forced the Confederates to leave the train behind and retreat toward Durham and the eventual surrender of the largest Confederate force of the war at Bennett Place.
The town was officially chartered in 1875 but was disincorporated in 1933. Eventually the town charter was restored in 1947.
Morrisville’s location adjacent to the Research Triangle Park, Raleigh-Durham International Airport, and Interstate 40 makes it an attractive location for offices, light industry and hotels. Companies based in Morrisville include Lenovo (U.S.A. headquarters), Oracle (previously Tekelec) and QBE First.
Prior to its disestablishment, Midway Airlines had its headquarters in Morrisville.
The Morrisville Chamber of Commerce serves as the economic development arm for the town.
Take some time to visit and explore Morrisville.