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The earliest European settlers of Gaston County were principally Scots Irish, Pennsylvania Dutch, and English. In the 1750s, Dutch settler James Kuykendall and others constructed the Fort at the Point at the junction of the Catawba and South Fork Rivers. The fort was built because of ongoing hostilities with the Cherokee, but it was apparently never attacked. Tensions between the settlers and the Native American inhabitants (primarily of the Catawba tribe) were eased considerably when the boundary dispute between North Carolina and South Carolina was settled in 1772, after which most of the Catawba settled on a reservation near Fort Mill, South Carolina.

Most early farms were small, cultivated primarily by white yeoman farmers of English ancestry. North Carolina's colonial policy restricted the size of land grants, and in Gaston County they tended to be about 400 acres (1.6 km2) each. One of the earliest grants in the area was given to Captain Samuel Cobrin, commander of a local militia company, on September 29, 1750.

Gaston County was founded in 1846. It is named for William Gaston, member of the state supreme court. Between 1845 and 1848, Gaston County experienced an industrial boom. During this three-year period, the first three cotton mills in the county were established. There is some debate, but the earliest mills included one by Thomas R. Tate on Mountain Island, one by the Linebergers and others on the South Fork River near McAdenville and the Stowes Mill, founded by Jasper Stowe and associates in the South Point Community south of Belmont. Gaston County still leads all other counties in the country both in the number of spindles in operation and in the number of bales of cotton consumed.


Gaston County has a Board of Commissioners elected by area and at large but by all the people. They have a county manager who is the senior staff member. County business centers around the office building, just south of the railroad tracks off Martin Luther King Blvd. downtown, and the courthouse, SOcial Services Building and jail just north of it. The COunty has both a sheriff's department, primarily responsible for the jail, warrants and the courthouse, and county police, who patrol the unincorporated parts of town, as well as some small municipalities.

Information about our communities can be found on the County Website. https://www.gastongov.com/explore/about_gaston/index.php


    • Gaston County Schools is our public school system. www.Gaston.k12.nc.us

    • Piedmont Community Charter School is a local charter school (private, paid for by tax dollars) pccharter.org

    • Gaston Christian School is a good local Christian Evangelical School (gastonchristian.org)

    • St. Michael's Catholic School is our local Parochial School (www.stmichaelcs.com)

    • Gaston Hope in Christ (www.GHiC.us), hosted at Eastside, has been providing tutoring and related services here for 21 years.


    • Eastside is a member of The Gaston Regional Chamber (www.gastonchamber.com)- Great Group!

    • Gaston County, The City of Gastonia, and other municipalities are staffed by good folks, and are all in the business of helping individuals and businesses. Reach out if you need.

    • Shopping:

      • Franklin Square and related properties, just northwest of Eastside on Franklin, is the largest shopping area outside Charlotte.

      • Eastridge Mall is a tertiary mall, with a Dillard's Outlet, Belk and some other local stores.

      • Target, Dick's Sporting Goods, Bed, Bath & Beyond and a number of restaurants and other shops make up the redesigned Gaston Mall complex at Cox & Franklin.

      • Valley Hills Mall in Hickory (30 minutes north) has a true 80s-style mall, with a Penney's and other stores.

      • Carolina Place (in Pineville, about 30 minutes), and Northlake (Huntersville, about 25 minutes) are large malls nearby in Charlotte.

      • Uptown Charlotte (downtown to outsiders) has a lot of shopping, entertainment and dining options. One of these locations for this is the "Uptown Mall" a series of connected buildings over 5 city blocks with over-street enclosed walkways between them.


      • Gaston County once housed over 50 textile mills. In fact even as late as 1993, over 80% of all t-shirts in America came from the piedmont (a region stretching from Greensboro/High Point to the mountains) in North Carolina. As manufacturing changed and moved, many of those mills became multi=use housing, businesses and other purposes. The Loray Mill building, just west of downtown, has two museums, a number of businesses and apartments. Ashley High School became Ashley Arms Apartments. Other similar developments are in the works around our county and region.

      • We have many nice restaurants. The local treasures are Tony's Ice Cream, a world class high quality locally made ice cream and grill spot, on Franklin Blvd. just east of downtown; Grandma Hoyt's country buffet in Bessemer City; numerous barbecue places led by Hillbilly's right up Main in Lowell from Eastside, Kyle Fletcher's just east of us on Wilkinson Blvd., and R.O.'s, just west of downtown on Airline; and a dozen fish camps (yes, I said fish camps in the piedmont of North Carolina!) Riverside in Dallas and Twin Tops down South New Hope are our favorites. We also have a nice cafeteria, Jackson's right off east Franklin, and numerous good chains. The pastor's favorites are Texas Roadhouse, Qdoba Tex-Mex in Gaston Mall and Hardee's in Lowell.

      • There are lots of great reasons to get out in Gaston County. From the Catawba River to Crowders Mountain, there are great places, many free, to explore and celebrate nature. Go to https://www.gastonoutside.com/ for more on these places.


      • Gaston County ACCESS, the county transit service, has two functions. ACCESS helps physically challenged or disabled people get to stores, work, appointments and other trips. There is a minimal charge, and reservations are required.

      • The City of Gastonia Transit system runs 8 bus routes, MOnday-Friday 5:30 am -6:30 pm, and Saturday 8 am- 6 pm. Their route map is below.

      • The Charlotte Area Transit System is a much more complete service for those east of us. But they do have the 85X Express route. It provides 3 inbound (6:35-7:23 am, 7:20 to 8:10 and 5:14-5:50 pm) and 2 outbound routes (4:10 to 5 and 5:10 to 6) connecting Gastonia and Belmont with Uptown Charlotte. From there you can go all over Charlotte by light rail or bus.

      • The 8th busiest airport in the nation, Charlotte- Douglas International (CLT) is off I-85 exit 34, 12 miles from Eastside. Gastonia also has a local airport, with charter and private aviation and a flying school, south of town.

      • Information about our communities can be found on the County Website. https://www.gastongov.com/explore/about_gaston/index.php

(Our FAVORITE Doughnut shop!)
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