First known as White Pines, Cherryville was settled in 1792 by German, Dutch, and Scotch-Irish pioneers. The original grants were made by Governor Samuel Ashe. During the 1700's, the primary trading road connecting Charlotte, NC with Spartanburg, SC, as well as a major road connecting Washington, DC with important locations throughout the South, passed through the town. The town served as a water and coal stop on the Coastal Seaboard Railroad line during the 1860's.
Along the railroad, a local resident planted cherry trees, and the train engineers soon began calling the settlement "Cherryville", a name under which the town was incorporated in 1881. Agriculture was Cherryville's main economic base for many years; however, during the 1800's, the town established itself in the textile industry and later in the transportation industry.
One custom shared by established residents and new is the greeting of each New Year with a chant and the shooting of muskets.