Settled mostly by Scotch-Irish sometime between 1732 and 1765, Harrisburg -- still home to families that arrived in the 1700s -- came by its name from the Robert Harris family and his descendants. Mr. Harris was established on land of his own here in 1766. With the coming of the railroad in the 1850s, the depot took the name of the landowner from whom the right-of-way was purchased, becoming known as Harris Depot. In 1874 the Post Office underwent a change of name from Harris Depot to Harrisburg.
A business district and town center developed down by the railroad, but in 1923, with the construction of what is now known as N.C. 49, Harrisburg's business district shifted to the new road. Harrisburg Depot closed in 1933.
Located in southwest Cabarrus County bordering Mecklenburg County, the Town of Harrisburg was incorporated in 1973. Its government is by a seven-member council and mayor. The town hall, built in 2004, is located on Main Street. A town-wide water system was completed in 1980, followed by the town's wastewater system in 1985. Harrisburg's close neighbors include Charlotte Motor Speedway and the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. Harrisburg is served by the Harrisburg Fire Department -- which was brought under the Town in 2006 -- and contracts with the Cabarrus County Sheriff's Department for full-time police protection.
Harrisburg's economic strength can best be judged by its business and industrial growth. With the building of an industrial park, availability of land and the quality of the work force, Harrisburg, a town on the move, reflects and maintains its rural heritage.