• Liz Logan

Small Town Charm, Growth & Diversity — this is what makes Gaston County home

Whether you still live where you’re from or you’ve since moved on, there is a bit of pride in calling somewhere “home”. There is a sense of security and nostalgia in knowing the ins-and-outs of your town and the surrounding area. From hole-in-the-wall restaurants and coffee shops to unique shopping experiences or outdoor amenities making for the best possible staycation, having your own distinct stomping grounds speaks to your identity which is why, as a 2011 article in The Atlantic says, one of the first things we ask a person is “Where are you from?”

Catawba Coffee, Mount Holly - Anna Naphtali, Gaston Outside

I grew up in Kings Mountain, a town that crosses between both Cleveland and Gaston Counties, the backroads of which I still know by heart. Lake Montonia Road (before the days of Veronét Vineyards) heading towards both Kings and Crowders Mountains was a heavily trod path for me as I navigated my 2001 Ford Escape through the hills and curves as though they were an extension of my person.

Drives in the back of my family’s Ford Bronco (we were strictly a Ford family in those days) to Riverview Inn just across the Catawba River to see Captain Windy for hushpuppies and their famous coleslaw, or to Lineberger’s Fish Camp to fill our bellies with perch and our pockets with candy on Friday nights are fresh in my memory, though it’s been 25 years or more. My parents would look away as my grandmother stealthily wrapped rolls in napkins and put them in her purse for later.

Riverview Inn - Photo Credit Ashley Evans, Charlotte Magazine

Afterwards we’d drive to Krispy Kreme to watch the doughnuts dip and flip in the oil, following the path of the Tim Burton-esque contraption as our parents sipped coffee beneath the glowing red “Hot and Ready” sign, reminding us to keep our hands off the windows.

Mary Jo’s Cloth Store (then in Gaston Mall) held the fabric of my Easter outfits and