Industrial Manufacturing Base Economy
Gaston's economy is fueled by a diverse industrial base historically dominated by textile mills. The first three cotton mills were established in 1848 providing most of the jobs at that time with many mill working families living in "mill towns" near their factories.
Although many other items are now manufactured including: electrical goods, motor oil filters, chemicals, plastics, brick and tile, business forms, resistors, corrugated boxes, lithium compounds; the status of the textile mill worker and their future is still the topic of discussion. 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.
Neighboring communities throughout the state of North Carolina is home to many of the drivers of NASCAR with several race tracks within a few hours driving distance from Gastonia. Nearby Charlotte is the home of the Carolina Panthers NFL Football team, the Charlotte Bobcats NBA and The Charlotte Sting WNBA Basketball teams.
If professional sports are not your cup of tea, Gaston county has a rich history that is on display at several local museums. There are many things to see and do at the area's beautiful parks, lakes, flower gardens, fairs and local farms.
Be sure and visit the Gaston County Dept. of Tourism web site that provides a wealth of valuable information (including beautiful pictures) about Gaston area attractions.
County Seat: Gastonia
Elevation: 825 ft msl
Land Area: 365 square miles
Population: 175,093 (1990 Census)
Date formed: 12/21/1846 from Lincoln County. Named after William Gaston (1778-1844), a member of Congress and NC Supreme Court Judge.
NC State Symbols (bird, flower)