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August 7, 2011 / Gaston Today Magazine

History in our backyard: Spotlight on Mt. Holly, NC

Mount Holly, NC

Mount Holly, NC

Mount Holly

Geography: The city is situated on the western bank of the Catawba River north of I-85 and south of NC 16.

History: King George II of Great Britain first issued land grants for the Mount Holly area around 1750. A few years later in 1754, James Kuykendall of Holland was issued a grant for an area known as Dutchman’s Creek. By 1875, Mount Holly finally received the name it has today and was named after the Mount Holly Cotton Mill. The name “Mount Holly” was used in recognition of the famed yarn made at a spinning mill in Mount Holly, New Jersey.

A.P. and D.E. Rhyne and Ambrose Costner originally owned the Mount Holly Cotton Mill. It was the fourth mill to be built in Gaston County and is the oldest surviving mill today. The mill’s success and the prosperity of the area as a whole led local residents to petition the North Carolina General Assembly for incorporation of Mount Holly in 1879.

The first railroad in Gaston County, the Carolina Central Railway, began serving Mount Holly in 1860. The line, which runs parallel with North Carolina State Highway 27, is still in service and operated by CSX. In 1911, construction began on the area’s second railroad known as the Piedmont and Northern Railway. On May 20, 1912 it made its first run from Charlotte to Gastonia.

Electricity became available to homes and businesses around the turn of the twentieth century. The Woodlawn Mill, located on Woodlawn Avenue, was built in 1906 and was the first mill in Gaston County to be served with electricity.


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