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Belmont City

Belmont City Hall is located at 115 North Main Street, Belmont, NC 28012; phone: 704-825-5586.

Beginnings [1]

In the early 1870s, the North Carolina Railroad passed through Gaston County as it connected Charlotte and Greensboro, while the Atlanta and Charlotte Airline crossed the peninsula between the Catawba and South Fork rivers on the east side of the county. This section of the county was known as South Fork or Southpoint, and it was in this area that John Garibaldi, an Italian immigrant and engineer for the Mecklenburg Iron Works, supervised the construction of the Atlanta and Charlotte Airline and its bridges. A watering stop on the peninsula became known as Garibaldi's Station. In 1873, the leg from Charlotte to Spartanburg began operating, passing through Garibaldi's Station.

When investors announced that the Atlanta and Charlotte Airline (railroad) was to cross the peninsula, local residents began building. Adam Stowe had constructed a house in the area when he returned from the Civil War, and with the pending arrival of the railroad, he built a general store. With rail construction underway, other South Forkers opened businesses and small industrial concerns. A Catholic mission opened in Belmont in 1876 and helped influence the selection of a new name for the community. Because another Garibaldi, Giuseppe Garibaldi, had been an important figure in wresting control of Rome from the Pope, Father Leo Raid, leader of the abbey, proposed that Garibaldi's Station be renamed St. Mary's. The locals objected to this name and suggested "Belmont," meaning "below the mountains." In 1886, the community's name was officially changed.

  1. Jennifer Marin and Sarah Woodard, Edwards-Pitman Environmental, Inc., Belmont Hosiery Mill, Gaston County, N.C., nomination document, 2002, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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