• Charlie Leonard

Walk Down Main Street: Belmont's beautiful downtown makes for a perfect day out

It’s impossible to picture the growth of Gaston County without looking to the city of Belmont. Situated directly across the Catawba River from Mecklenburg County, and only 20 minutes from Uptown Charlotte, Belmont has almost doubled in size since the year 2000 due to intentional planning and its proximity to Charlotte’s rapid growing population. It’s an excellent location for people and businesses looking for a quieter alternative to Charlotte without sacrificing a high quality of life.

Anna Naphtali, Gaston Outside

Belmont has always played the role of a naturally peaceful town throughout its history. Named “beautiful mountain” after nearby Crowders Mountain, Belmont thrived off a focus on the land. While cities like Gastonia and Charlotte grew larger during the textile revolution, Belmont was a much more agriculturally centered town. When the Stowesville Cotton Mill opened nearby in 1853, Belmont finally began a textile pivot to align with the rest of Gaston County. In 1871, the railroad that split downtown Belmont in half was built, which set the stage for the Belmont of today.

Chronicle Mill - Photo Courtesy John Clark, Gaston Gazette

Shortly after the railroad arrived, three major milestones occurred. The old Caldwell Plantation was donated to the Benedictine monks, transforming the location into what is now Belmont Abbey College. In 1895, the town of Belmont officially gained incorporation, leading to an official government structure. Finally, in 1901-1902, the Chronicle Mill–which will soon be redeveloped–became the first textile mill within the newly incorporated town’s city limits. The modern day Belmont had officially taken shape.

In the not so distant future of 2030, a new railway is set to be built. The LYNX Silver Line, a proposed light rail line operated by the Charlotte Area Transit System, has set its final westbound station in Belmont off Wilkinson Blvd, which could lead to even more growth and transformation.

Stowe Park - Anna Naphtali, Gaston Outside

Today, a mix of old and new business developments, a proximity to multiple nature areas and green spaces, and an