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Lowell, North Carolina
Location of Lowell, North Carolina
Location of Lowell, North Carolina
Country  United States
State  North Carolina
County Gaston
Incorporated 1879
 • Mayor Sandy Railey
 • Total 2.67 sq mi (6.91 km2)
 • Land 2.66 sq mi (6.89 km2)
 • Water 0.004 sq mi (0.01 km2)
817 ft (249 m)
 • Total 3,526
 • Density 1,325/sq mi (511.6/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code 704
FIPS code 37-39480
GNIS feature ID 0989086

Lowell is a small city in Gaston County, North Carolina, United States, and a suburb of both Charlotte and Gastonia. The population was 3,526 at the 2010 census.


Lowell is located at 35°16′2″N 81°6′4″W / 35.26722°N 81.10111°W / 35.26722; -81.10111 (35.267346, -81.101210).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.7 square miles (6.9 km2), of which 0.004 square miles (0.01 km2), or 0.21%, is water. The South Fork Catawba River borders Lowell on the north, and the city is part of the Cramerton Watershed.


Lowell was incorporated in 1879. It was named after Lowell, Massachusetts, in hopes the city would become a similar textile center. The settlement dates back to 1848, when the Woodlawn Mill was built on the South Fork Catawba River. When grading was done for the Atlanta and Richmond Air-Line Railway in 1870 and a small depot was built in the community, it was given the name "Wright's Station", because the nearest resident was William Wright.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 35
1900 290
1910 876 202.1%
1920 1,151 31.4%
1930 1,664 44.6%
1940 1,826 9.7%
1950 2,313 26.7%
1960 2,784 20.4%
1970 3,307 18.8%
1980 2,917 −11.8%
1990 2,704 −7.3%
2000 2,662 −1.6%
2010 3,526 32.5%
Est. 2015 3,649 3.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 2,662 people, 1,085 households, and 748 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,011.8 people per square mile (390.8/km²). There were 1,137 housing units at an average density of 432.2 per square mile (166.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.40% White, 6.46% African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.64% Asian, 0.19% from other races, and 1.09% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.31% of the population.

There were 1,085 households out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.5% were married couples living together, 15.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.0% were non-families. 26.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 23.0% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 30.7% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 16.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 85.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,586, and the median income for a family was $39,143. Males had a median income of $30,750 versus $24,063 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,809. About 10.1% of families and 11.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.4% of those under age 18 and 6.5% of those age 65 or over.


The primary east-west highway passing through Lowell is Interstate 85. Other important highways include U.S. Route 29/U.S. Route 74 (Wilkinson Blvd./Franklin Blvd.) and North Carolina Highway 7 (McAdenville Rd./3rd St./Main St./1st St./Lowell Rd.).

Freight rail service is provided by the Norfolk Southern Railway. While Amtrak's passenger train also follows the Norfolk Southern main line, the nearest station is in Gastonia.

Points of interest

  • George Poston Park is located northwest of Lowell on Lowell-Spencer Mountain Road. This Gaston County-operated park includes a playground, four lighted softball/little league fields, four lighted soccer fields, and a mountain bike trail.
  • The Lowell Teacherage at 503 W. First St. in Lowell is a Designated Gaston County Historic Property. It was built in 1924 to house teachers when the local school was in session.
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