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Boiling Springs, North Carolina
Water tower
Water tower
"Crossroads of Opportunity"
Location of Boiling Springs, North Carolina
Location of Boiling Springs, North Carolina
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Cleveland
 • Total 4.48 sq mi (11.60 km2)
 • Land 4.48 sq mi (11.60 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
912 ft (278 m)
 • Total 4,647
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,012.05/sq mi (390.79/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 704
FIPS code 37-06800
GNIS feature ID 0981688

Boiling Springs is a town in Cleveland County, North Carolina, United States and is located in the westernmost part of the Charlotte metropolitan area, located approximately 50 miles away from the city. As of the 2010 census, the town's population was 4,647. It is home to Gardner–Webb University. The town is named after the natural spring found on the university's property, which feeds a small lake.


Boiling Springs is located in southwestern Cleveland County at 35°15′6″N 81°39′51″W / 35.25167°N 81.66417°W / 35.25167; -81.66417 (35.251752, -81.664288),. North Carolina Highway 150 passes through the town, leading east 9 miles (14 km) to Shelby, the county seat, and south 13 miles (21 km) to Gaffney, South Carolina. The South Carolina border is less than 6 miles (10 km) south of the town. Mooresboro is 4 miles (6 km) north. Charlotte, about 50 miles (80 km) east, is the closest major city.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 4.4 square miles (11.5 km2), all of it land. The Broad River runs 3 miles (5 km) south of the town, and is the location of the Broad River Greenway, providing recreational facilities, activities and trails.


People began settling the area around the namesake boiling springs in 1843. The first families to settle were the Hamricks, the Greenes and the McSwains. It was only appropriate that the settlement be named Boiling Springs. One of the first buildings was Boiling Springs Baptist Church, built in 1847 about 100 yards from the springs. Boiling Springs was known as a sleepy community, with no railroads, no industries, few stores and no paved streets. At the turn of the 20th century Kings Mountain Baptist and Sandy Run Associations began looking for a place to build their denominational high school and chose Boiling Springs because it was geographically situated between the two associations and because the Boiling Springs community made concerted efforts to attract the school. The Boiling Springs High School boarding institution opened for business in 1905. School authorities felt that neither intoxicating drinks nor cigarettes should be sold near the school, so in 1911 the town was incorporated in order to ban the sale of such items. Town limits were decided by drawing a mile and a half radius from the school's original bell tower.

Incorporation of the town proved to be a major step forward because it provided a government that could function and enable the town not only to grow but to furnish water, police and fire protection, paved streets and garbage collection for the town and the school. As time progressed the growth of the town was largely tied to the growth of the Boiling Springs High School which became the Boiling Springs Junior College in 1928, Gardner Webb Junior College in 1942, and finally after achieving status as a senior college and developing several graduate programs, Gardner–Webb University in 1993.

E. B. Hamrick Hall and the Irvin-Hamrick Log House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 672
1940 613 −8.8%
1950 1,145 86.8%
1960 1,311 14.5%
1970 2,284 74.2%
1980 2,381 4.2%
1990 2,445 2.7%
2000 3,866 58.1%
2010 4,647 20.2%
2019 (est.) 4,535 −2.4%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Boiling Springs racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 3,625 78.55%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 594 12.87%
Native American 6 0.13%
Asian 41 0.89%
Other/Mixed 176 3.81%
Hispanic or Latino 173 3.75%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 4,615 people, 1,144 households, and 877 families residing in the town.


Air travel

  • Charlotte Douglas International Airport is located 46 miles (74 km) east of Boiling Springs.
  • Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport is located 47 miles (76 km) south of Boiling Springs.
  • Shelby Cleveland County Regional Airport is 4 miles (6 km) east of Boiling Springs.


  • NC Route 150 runs directly through town.
  • US Route 74 passes 3 miles (5 km) north of the town.
  • Interstate 85 is 13 miles (21 km) south and 25 miles (40 km) east of the town.

Pedestrian and bicycle

  • A bike lane along NC 150 (South Main) connects to the Broad River Greenway.
  • Pedestrian facilities are limited.

Notable people

  • W. J. Cash, author
  • Blake Lalli, former MLB player
  • Gerald R. Murray, 14th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force
  • Ron Rash, poet, short story writer, and novelist
  • David Thompson, former NBA player

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