The History of Gaston County
Scottish-Irish and German settlers began in the last half of the 18th Century to lay out their farms along the fertile countryside that is now Gaston County.
They were friendly with the residing Catawba Indians who later fought with the settlers in the Revolutionary War.
It is no surprise that the Battle of Kings Mountain, the turning point of the Revolutionary War, was fought 20 miles from Gastonia by these same pioneers determined to preserve their political and religious freedom.
Gaston county was only two years old when its first cotton manufacturing plant, the Mountain Island Mill, began operations in 1848.
FROM THESE SMALL BEGINNINGS, the county developed into the foremost textile manufacturing county in the nation. It consumes more cotton and has more active spindles than any other county.
The history of the early textile industry is celebrated in exhibits at the Gaston County Museum of Art and History.
The Schiele Museum of Natural History and Planetarium houses the largest collection of land mammal specimens in the Southeast. There is also a nature trail, a reconstructed Catawba Indian village and an 18th Century Carolina Back Country farm.
Other area museums focus on topics such as the trucking industry, railroad displays and
military history. Please refer to the "Recreation & Attractions" link for
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