Skip to content
August 9, 2011 / Gaston Today Magazine

Gaston Town Spotlight, Belmont NC: “The Beating Heart of two Rivers.”

Belmont, NC


Geography: Located about 15 miles west of uptown Charlotte, NC, and flanked by two rivers, the Catawba and South Fork Catawba. Adjacent to Belmont, the rivers make up two arms of Lake Wylie and form a peninsula on which the city is situated.

History: Once known as Garibaldi, the city named in honor of August Belmont, a prominent New York banker. 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. The fort was built because of ongoing hostilities with the Cherokee, but it was apparently never attacked. The South Point Community, located about 2-1/2 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.

Where To Go: The Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is a 450-acre  world-class botanical garden located on New Hope Road southwest of Belmont. 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 Blvd., and Central Ave, the district covers 1,700 acres It contains 264 buildings and 2 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 National Register. Stowe Manor, at 217 South Central Avenue, is the 1920’s 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. The Belmont Historical Society Cultural and Heritage Learning Center, 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 Americaninhabitants through the textile age.

Recently, the downtown area of Belmont has been expanding and adding new attractions like restaurants, bars, and comedy clubs. There also is a coffee shop in the downtown part of Belmont called “Caravan,” that hosts an open mike night on Thursday and Friday nights. With coffee being enjoyed by those in all aspects of life, Caravan attracts all different types of people in Belmont, some you may not have known lived in Belmont before and then again, you might see an old friend. Since it is right beside Stowe Park, it is a good rest area to get a cold drink during the summer or a hot cup of coffee during the colder parts of the year.

There is a general store by the name of “Stowe Mercantile Co.” that provides everything you need from fixing things around the home to toys for the children. Belmont is home to “Bills Belmont Drive-In”, more commonly known just as the “Drive-In.” the drive in stays busy during the warm summer nights when students are out of school for the summer. These have both been a part of Belmont for a long time, but they still are a major part of the community. 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: