Belmont, North Carolina facts for kids

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Belmont, North Carolina
City
Belmont NC HistoricDowntown1.JPG
Nickname(s): City of Diversified Textiles
Location in the U.S. state of North Carolina
Location in the U.S. state of North Carolina
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Gaston
Incorporated 1895
Area
 • Total 10.1 sq mi (26.2 km2)
 • Land 9.9 sq mi (25.7 km2)
 • Water 0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)  1.74%%
Elevation 702 ft (214 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 10,076
 • Density 1,014/sq mi (391.6/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 28012
Area code(s) 704
FIPS code 37-04840
GNIS feature ID 0980966
Website www.cityofbelmont.org

Belmont is a small suburban city in Gaston County, North Carolina, United States, located about 15 miles (24 km) west of uptown Charlotte and 9 miles (14 km) east of Gastonia. The population was 10,076 at the 2010 census. Once known as Garibaldi Station, the name change for Belmont is disputed. Some say it was named for a prominent New York banker - August Belmont. Others contend the Pope ordered the abbot of the monastery to change the name since he would not tolerate an abbey in a place that bore the Garibaldi name. The abbot could see Crowder's mountain from the property and named the town Belmont - "beautiful mountain". Belmont is home to Belmont Abbey College.

Geography

Belmont is located at 35°14′40″N 81°2′8″W / 35.24444°N 81.03556°W / 35.24444; -81.03556 (35.244496, -81.035650).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.1 square miles (26.2 km2), of which 9.9 square miles (25.7 km2) is land and 0.19 square miles (0.5 km2), or 1.74%, is water.

Nestled in the southern Piedmont region of North Carolina, the town of Belmont is flanked by two rivers, the Catawba River and its right tributary, the South Fork Catawba River. Adjacent to Belmont, the rivers make up two arms of Lake Wylie and form a peninsula on which the city is situated.

Areas to the west of the center of town are part of the South Fork Catawba watershed. Eastern parts of Belmont north of the Norfolk Southern Railway belong to the Catawba Heights watershed, while those to the south are in the Paw Creek watershed. Areas of unincorporated South Point Township south of Belmont belong to the Neal Branch-Beaverdam Creek watershed.

History

Settlement in the Belmont area began around the colonial-era Fort at the Point, built in the 1750s by Dutch settler James Kuykendall and others near the junction of the South Fork and the Catawba River. The fort was built because of ongoing hostilities with the Cherokee, but it was apparently never attacked.

The South Point Community, located about 2½ miles south of present-day downtown Belmont, was the site of Stowesville Mill. Founded by Jasper Stowe and Associates in 1853, it was one of the first three cotton mills in operation in Gaston County.

Abram Stowe (1842–1897) returned to the area after serving in the Civil War. He built a handsome Greek Revival home (still the oldest known structure in Belmont) and opened a small mercantile store. He later became postmaster and town depot agent for the new Atlanta and Richmond Air-Line Railway, which was constructed in 1871. Additional stores were soon built near the community's railroad stop, Garibaldi Station. The station was named for John Garibaldi, who had supervised construction of a water tank near the new railroad. Existing settlers in the South Point community moved north to be closer to the railroad.

In 1872, Father Jeremiah O'Connell, a Roman Catholic missionary priest, purchased a 500-acre (2.0 km2) tract known as the Caldwell farm, less than one mile (1.6 km) north of Garibaldi Station. The land was then donated to the Benedictine monks of Saint Vincent's Archabbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, for the establishment of a religious community and school. Belmont Abbey, officially named "Mary Help of Christians Abbey", was founded in 1876 by Bishop Leo Haid, and still functions today. The abbey operates Belmont Abbey College, a liberal arts college. Bishop Haid is said to have been the one who suggested changing the name of the town to Belmont.

In 1883, the name of Garibaldi Station was formally changed to Belmont. In 1895, by an act of the North Carolina General Assembly, an area within a 1/4 mile radius from the intersection of Main Street and the railroad was incorporated as the Town of Belmont.

Belmont was still a small town at the turn of the century, with a population of only 145. The organization of Chronicle Mills in 1901 marked the beginning of Belmont's development as a textile center. It was founded by Robert Lee Stowe Sr. (1866–1963), his brother Samuel Pinckney Stowe (1868–1956), and Abel Caleb Lineberger (1859–1948, son of Caleb John Lineberger, who had founded Gaston County's first textile mill, the Woodlawn, or "Pinhook", Mill in Lowell, North Carolina in 1848). Chronicle was the first of the nearly twenty mills built in Belmont through 1930, expanding the town population to 3,793.

The Belmont Abbey Bascilica, Belmont Abbey Historic District, Belmont Historic District, Belmont Hosiery Mill, and U.S. Post Office, Former are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 145
1910 1,176 711.0%
1920 2,941 150.1%
1930 4,121 40.1%
1940 4,356 5.7%
1950 5,330 22.4%
1960 5,007 −6.1%
1970 5,054 0.9%
1980 4,607 −8.8%
1990 8,434 83.1%
2000 8,705 3.2%
2010 10,076 15.7%
Est. 2015 10,533 4.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 8,705 people, 3,348 households, and 2,226 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,077.3 people per square mile (416.0/km²). There were 3,552 housing units at an average density of 439.6 per square mile (169.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 84.39% European American, 10.07% African American, 0.26% Native American, 2.98% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.26% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.49% of the population.

There were 3,348 households out of which 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.6% were married couples living together, 13.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.5% were non-families. 28.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city, the population was spread out with 22.8% under the age of 18, 11.7% from 18 to 24, 31.9% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 91.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $38,819, and the median income for a family was $46,765. Males had a median income of $32,388 versus $25,213 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,065. About 6.9% of families and 9.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.3% of those under age 18 and 14.1% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

The primary east-west highway passing through Belmont is Interstate 85. Other important east-west highways include U.S. Route 29/U.S. Route 74 (Wilkinson Blvd.) and North Carolina Highway 7 (Catawba St./N. Main St./McAdenville Rd). The primary north-south highway is North Carolina Highway 273 (Armstrong Rd./South Point Rd./Keener Blvd./Park St./Beatty Dr.).

Freight rail service is provided by the Norfolk Southern Railway. It operates the parallel Washington to Atlanta Main Line and S-Line. A spur off the S-Line carries coal to Duke Energy's Allen Steam Station south of Belmont. Amtrak's passenger train uses the Main Line, with the nearest station in Gastonia.

Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) is Belmont's commuter bus provider to Charlotte. The Gastonia Express (Route 85X) offers Monday-Friday bus service to/from uptown Charlotte, via the Abbey Plaza Shopping Center Station. One-way fare to/from uptown Charlotte is $2.60; transfer costs vary.

Charlotte/Douglas International Airport is a major, full-service airport with passenger flights. It is across the Catawba River in Mecklenburg County, about 7 miles (11 km) east of Belmont.

Points of interest

The Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is a 450-acre (1.8 km2) world-class botanical garden located on New Hope Road southwest of Belmont. Daniel J. Stowe, a retired textile executive, set aside the property and established a foundation to develop the garden. The first gardens opened to the public in 1999.

The Downtown Belmont Historic District has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1996. Roughly bounded by the former campus of Sacred Heart College, the Norfolk Southern Railway line, Main, Glenway, and Bryant streets, Keener Boulevard, and Central Avenue, the district covers 1,700 acres (6.9 km2). It contains 264 buildings and two structures built between 1850 and 1949, including examples of Tudor Revival, Bungalow/Craftsman, and Colonial Revival architectural styles. It includes the Colonial Revival-style former US Post Office at 115 N. Main Street, now the Belmont City Hall. The Belmont Hosiery Mill at 608 S. Main Street is also listed on the National Register.

Stowe Manor, at 217 South Central Avenue, is the 1920s mansion built for textile magnate S.P. Stowe.

The campus of Belmont Abbey has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places as an Historic District since 1973. The Abbey Basilica of Mary Help of Christians is the central feature of the campus. Built in the German Gothic Revival architectural style, the basilica was the largest Catholic church in North Carolina at the time of its construction. The monks of Belmont Abbey did much of the construction work themselves. The original art glass windows of the Basilica were designed and executed by the Royal Bavarian Establishment of Francis Mayer and Company of Munich, Germany. They were painted then heat-fused, allowing for greater detail than was possible with stained glass. The windows were part of a display that won four gold medals at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1892. The Basilica held cathedral rank from 1910 to 1977. It was elevated to the rank of a Minor Basilica on July 27, 1998.

The Belmont Historical Society Cultural and Heritage Learning Center is located in the former R.L. Stowe home at 40 Catawba Street. Built in 1899, it is believed to be the third oldest home in Belmont. The property also contains a free-standing kitchen, a mill house, and a garage. Displays include furnishings, artifacts, and pictures which tell the history of Belmont from the time of its Native American inhabitants through the textile age.

The U.S. National Whitewater Center is located just across the Catawba River from Belmont in Mecklenburg County. Situated on the east bank of the river, the Center is a non-profit outdoor recreation facility for whitewater rafting, canoeing, and kayaking. It opened for public use in 2006.

Recently, the downtown area of Belmont has been expanding and adding new attractions like restaurants, bars, and comedy clubs. The Caravan Coffee and Dessert Bar is a coffee shop in the downtown part of Belmont next to Stowe Park that hosts the "Caravan Jam" every Wednesday night and "Piano Nights" every other Thursday. The Stowe Mercantile Co., a downtown general store, and Bill's Belmont Drive-In, more commonly known just as the "Drive-In", have been a major part of the Belmont community for a long time. Cherub's Café & Candy Bouquet is an outreach of Holy Angels and is a café that provides vocational training and meaningful supported employment options for individuals with intellectual developmental disabilities. Kevin Jonas, Sr. (father of Kevin, Joe, and Nick of The Jonas Brothers fame) opened Nellie's Southern Kitchen in June 2016. The restaurant features southern comfort food and live music provided by a house band as well as members of the wait staff.


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