Albemarle, the county seat of Stanly County, is located about 40 miles northeast of Charlotte. The name honors George Monck, Duke of Albemarle. In 1842, land that had been owned by the Hearne family was divided into lots and sold. The resulting settlement became Albemarle, which was incorporated in 1857. Railroads came to Stanly County in the late 19th century. A building, now on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1907-1908 with storefront shops at street level and an opera house on the second floor. Construction on the first paved road out of Albemarle was begun in 1923. The first hospital in Stanly County was Badin Hospital, which opened in 1918. The first private hospital in Albemarle opened in 1924. Albemarle got its first public hospital in 1929. The city is presently served by Stanly Memorial Hospital, which opened in 1981. The Mitchell School was converted into Pfeiffer Junior College in 1935. As Pfeiffer College, it was accredited as a four-year institution in 1959. The Pfeiffer Junior College Historic District is now on the national register. Stanly Technical Institute came into existence in 1971. Morrow Mountain State Park is nearby.