There are fifteen incorporated towns in Gaston County, ranging in size from the City of Gastonia to the Village of Dellview. The incorporated/unincorporated population is approximately 54.4% to 46.6%, with 65% of the population living in an urban environment. All of the following population estimates are for 2010. In addition to fifteen incorporated towns and cities, there are several unincorporated communities such as Hardin, Lucia, Crowders Mountain, Sunnyside, Alexis, Tryon, and North Belmont.
City of Belmont
Belmont, once known as Garibaldi, was named in honor of
August Belmont, a New York banker. Incorporated in 1895, Belmont is
the fourth largest city in Gaston County. Textiles and hosiery
manufactories are the basis of Belmont's industry; however, there is
also a well established retail center. Belmont Abbey College
establishes this community as the higher education center of the
County. Located near Belmont also is the North Carolina Textile
School, which offers several tuition-free course in textile
manufacturing. Belmont is governed by a Commissioner-Manager system.
City of Bessemer
Bessemer City, located in the western section of the
County at the foot of Whetstone Mountain, was incorporated in 1892.
Prior to the War Between the States, the mining of ore was a profitable
enterprise for Bessemer City. The City acquired its name from the
process by which steel is made from pig iron. The process, pioneered
by Sir Henry Bessemer, is known as the Bessemer Process. Now, over a
hundred years later, Bessemer City is again a mining center. The
Lithium Corporation of America has erected an impressive $7,000,000
plant to process the rich vein of spodumene found in abundance in this
area. In addition, Bessemer City is the location of two mills and
enjoys a considerable retail trade from farming. Bessemer City is
under the Council-Manager form of government.
City of Cherryville
Cherryville, once known as White Pines, acquired its
present name from cherry trees planted along a stagecoach lane on Old
Post Road. The stagecoach drivers identified the area by the trees and
thus dubbed it Cherryville. Incorporated in 1881, Cherryville is
governed by the Commissioner-Manager plan.
Town of Cramerton
Cramerton derives its name from its founder, Stuart W.
Cramer who established a mill village in 1915 to house workers at two
textile plants, the Mays and Mayflower Mills. The entire property was
sold to Burlington Industries in the mid forties. Burlington sold the
homes to individuals and continued to operate the textile plants until
the late eighties. Rapid residential growth has occurred over the past
twenty years and Cramerton serves primarily as a residential
community. Mastercraft Fabrics continues operation of two textile
plants in Cramerton. Cramerton has a Council-Manager form of
Town of Dallas
Dallas, incorporated in 1863, is the oldest incorporated
town in Gaston County. Dallas was named for George Mifflin Dallas, who
was the U.S. Vice President in 1846 when Dallas was established.
Designated originally as the County Seat, it remained so for 64 years
until 1911. The old courthouse, renovated in 1868 after a fire, still
stands in the main square of the town and serves as City Hall. The
spacious, well-kept older homes together with neat, modern, new homes
mark Dallas as principally a residential town rather than an industrial
one. There is a well-developed retail area, but the majority of the
residents commute to other areas for employment. Dallas has a
Mayor-Aldermen form of government.
Town of Dellview
Dellview is the most unusual of the incorporated towns in
Gaston County. Chartered in 1925, it is the smallest incorporated town
in the world with a population of 10. It was chartered by the
Dellinger family in order to control stray dogs that were preying on
their poultry farm. It is located just beyond Cherryville in the
northern part of the County.
City of Gastonia
Gastonia is the County Seat and the largest of the
fifteen incorporated cities and towns in the County. It is located
roughly in the geographical center of the County. Gastonia was
incorporated in 1877 and is the third oldest incorporated city in the
County. In 1964, Gastonia was named the all-American City in Look Magazine's
annual contest. The City of Gastonia is governed by the
Council-Manager system. This system has been in existence for over 60
years. The governing board consists of a mayor and six councilmen.
The Councilmen, each of whom must reside in one of the representative
wards, are elected at large every two years. The mayor runs at large
every two years.
Town of High Shoals
High Shoals, once a totally-owned textile community, was
incorporated on November 6, 1973, making it Gaston County's newest
municipality. High Shoals is governed under the Mayor-Council plan.
City of Kings Mountain
Kings Mountain, once known as White Plains, has the
distinction of being located in two counties. Out of the 10, 000
residents of Kings Mountain, only about 756 live in Gaston County, with
the remainder living in Cleveland County. Kings Mountain was
incorporated in 1874, and follows the Mayor-Board of Commissioner plan
Town of Lowell
Lowell is located on North Carolina Highway Number 7 just
east of Gastonia. The City was named after Lowell, Massachusetts, a
textile manufacturing town located near Boston. Prior to its
incorporation in 1879, an engineer was employed to lay out a planned
community. Even with this foresight, however, Lowell failed to reach
the size anticipated. Today, it is a small, neat community with paved
streets and substantial well-kept homes. Several textile plants are
located in Lowell and provide employment for many of its residents.
Lowell operates under the Mayor-Council form of government.
Town of McAdenville
McAdenville was incorporated in 1883. It was named after
Rufus Yancey McAden, who served as president of McAden Mills. Although
there are many privately owned homes, to large extent McAdenville is
still a small mill community. Today this community has become known as
"The Christmas City" because of its Christmas lights display.
McAdenville is governed by the Mayor-Board of Alderman system of
City of Mount Holly
Mount Holly, which which was the beginning of Gaston's
Textile empire, was first called Woodlawn, since the pos office was
designated in that way. However, when the town was incorporated in
1879, it was named Mount Holly after the mill which had been
established there by A. Rhyne and D. E. Rhyne. The town has a well
developed retail shopping center. Mount Holly is located almost on the
banks of the Catawba River, the eastern boundary of Gaston County.
Mount Holly is governed by the Council-Manager form of government.
Town of Ranlo
Ranlo acquired its name from the first letters of the
surnames of Rankin and Love. With the incorporation of Ranlo in 1963,
Gaston County added its claim of having more incorporated towns than
any other county in North Carolina. Ranlo was born with several large
industries, manufacturers of textile machinery and various yarns.
Ranlo has a Mayor-Commissioner form of government.
Town of Spencer Mountain
Spencer Mountain is located at the foothills of a
mountainous ridge in Gaston County and as settled in 1772 by Zachariah
Spencer. One of the first businesses in the area was Hoffman's grist
mill which began operation in 1874 and later became Spencer Mountain
Mills. Today Pharr Yarns, Incorporated, located on the north side of
the Mountain, principally produces orlon and nylon yarns. Spencer
Mountain was incorporated in 1963 and is governed by the Mayor-Board of
Aldermen system of government.
Town of Stanley
Stanley, located in the Northeastern section of the
County, was originally known as Brevard Station. In 1860 a Depot
called Brevard's Station, named for the original landowners, the
Alexander Brevard family, was situated on the Wilmington, Charlotte,
& Rutherford Railroad. In 1879 Brevard Station, was incorporated
and in 1893 an amendment changed the town's name to Stanley Creek. The
city acquired it's name indirectly from a Mr. Stanley who, in the
1700's, searched for gold in a creek on his property in the area. In
1891 a cotton mill was established bearing the name Stanley Creek
Cotton Mills. Another revision to the charter was made in 1911
changing the town's name to Stanley, as it is known today. Several
industries are now located within the area including DSM Desotech, Deb
SBS, Buckeye Technologies, U. S. Leisure, Outdoor Lifestyles, and
International Dyeing Machine Company. Stanley is governed by the
Mayor-Council-Manager form of government.