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Our Gastonia NC Community Guide

Counties: Gaston 

Municipalities: Gastonia

Area: 52.22 sq. mi. 

Population: 80,411 (2020) 

Demographics: The breakdown of racial and ethnic groups are: White (50.81%); Black or African American (30.26%); Hispanic (12.65%). The median age for residents is 37.8. In 2017-2021, the median household income was $52,990. 

Brief History: Gastonia was incorporated in 1877. Originally a small railroad town, Gastonia's population boomed after many mills were built for the rapidly growing textile industry in this region. The city was home to the Loray Mill, which at the time was the largest mill under one roof in the south. This mill was also location to the Loray Mill strike which helped push the labor movement in the south. 

Area Info: Gastonia is the 13th most populous city in North Carolina and is the county seat for Gaston County. The city is home to many historical locations and events. Due to its size, there are also many things to do right within the city, yet there is also easy access to the larger city of Charlotte. 

Historic Places & Cultural Places of Interest: 

  • Downtown Gastonia Historic District
  • The Schiele Museum of Natural History & Planetarium
  • American Military Museum of Gastonia
  • African American Museum of History & Culture
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Monument
  • Little Theater of Gastonia
  • York Chester National Historic District

Amenities: Gastonia has an endless amount of things to do, whether you are looking to shop, dine, or play. Visit the Arts & Antique District in downtown Gastonia for unique finds and locally owned shops. Find everything you need in one of the multiple shopping malls and centers, such as the Eastridge Mall, Franklin Square, and Akers Shopping Center. Located near many of these shopping centers and downtown, you can find multiple restaurants, pubs, cafes, and coffee shops. 

Parks and Recreation: The Gastonia Parks & Recreation Department manages fourteen parks and five community centers. The parks provide opportunities for outdoor recreation through playgrounds, picnic shelters, water access, ball fields, greenspaces, and more. While the community centers allow for recreational programs such as community events, indoor gymnasiums, classes, and game rooms for all ages. 

Public Transportation: Located within the city is the Gastonia Transit System which provides six different lines of bus services throughout the entire city. Every line passes through the main transfer terminal at Bradley Station. The 85X Gastonia Express also provides bus services from Gastonia to Charlotte and other surrounding cities and towns. 

Education: Public schools within Gastonia fall under the Gaston County School District. There are currently twenty elementary schools, six middle schools, and seven high schools. Many religiously affiliated private schools are also located in Gastonia. 

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