Landrum owes much of its beginnings to the Earle family. They owned extensive land holdings in this sparsely populated section of the county beginning in the 1770s. After the turn of the century, the area began to show signs of growth. In 1803, Wolf Creek (Baptist) Church was organized in the area. Theron Earle became postmaster of the newly created post office, which took the name Earlesville.
The town experienced steady but uneventful growth until the 1870s, when two events created new interest in the area. Gold was discovered nearby in North Carolina in 1870, creating an influx of people. At about the same time, railroad lines were being planned through the region.
The Rev. John G. Landrum donated four acres of land that his wife, Nancy Earle Landrum, had inherited from her family for the railroad depot. It was christened Landrum Station. Earlesville officials, foreseeing a building boom, moved their operations to Landrum Station. On September 2, 1880, Earlesville officially became known as Landrum.
The other draw for Landrum was its location. With nearby Hogback Mountain at an elevation of 3,211 feet, Landrum is in the foothills near the beautiful North Carolina mountains. The Jackson House and the Imperial Hotel and Dining Room drew 19th-century flat-landers seeking the more temperate environment and magnificent vistas. Nearby Tryon, N.C., drew artists to the area, and Landrum benefited from the exposure. Today, Landrum is a quaint town of artistic boutiques and cafes.