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August 27, 2011 / Gaston Today Magazine

GT Mag community spotlight: High Shoals, NC


High Shoals

Geography: Located in Dallas Township, High Shoals the town has a total area of 1.8 square miles. The South Fork Catawba River flows through High Shoals. Areas northeast of the river are assigned to the Hoyle Creek watershed, while those southwest of the river are in the Beaverdam Creek watershed. Sulfur Branch flows through western High Shoals (including Briarcreek Golf Course) and enters the South Fork at the south end of town. Most of High Shoals is located in Dallas Township, except for a western portion of the town which is in Cherryville Township.

History: High Shoals was the location of the High Shoals Iron Works, founded by Swiss-born John Fulenwider in about 1795. Fulenwider developed one of the earliest methods of making pig iron with the charcoal process. During the War of 1812, his High Shoals ironworks produced cannon balls for use by the United States Army. Fulenwider died in 1826 and is buried at High Shoals cemetery. The ironworks he developed remained in operation until 1875.

In the last decade of the 19th Century, the community of High Shoals became totally-owned by High Shoals Mills, a textile company founded byCharlotte, North Carolina industrialist Daniel A. Tompkins.

Eventually, the mill homes were sold to private owners. High Shoals was incorporated on November 6, 1973, the most-recently incorporated municipality in Gaston County.

 

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