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Overview Map

The American Indians of the Catawba Nation were the first settlers of the Mount Holly area. Europeans, primarily of German, Scotch, or Irish descent, settled into the area in the early 1770’s. Land grants by King George II were first issued in the area around 1750. In 1754, a land grant was issued to Dutchman James Kuykendall in the Mount Holly locale known as Dutchman’s Creek. Later, in 1838, the post office in the area was known as Woodlawn. Finally, in 1875, the name was changed to Mount Holly. The name change was in honor of the Mount Holly Cotton Mill that was started in 1875. It was the fourth mill to be built in Gaston County and is the oldest surviving mill today.  The mill’s success and the prosperity of the area as a whole, led local residents to petition the North Carolina General Assembly for incorporation of Mount Holly in 1879.

During the latter half of the 19th century, industrial leaders had found the South very conducive for the placement of textile mills. Due to a variety of factors, Gaston County had the undisputed title of the hub of textile activity in the Southeast. By 1890 there were at least three mills operating in the city. Retail stores were being built to accommodate the commercial needs of the local population. In 1892, Kel Davenport and C. L. Hutchinson and Son combined their operations to start a general store on South Main Street.

Although the importance of the textile industry in the local economy has diminished over the past twenty five years, the Mount Holly area has continued to prosper due to improvements in the regional transportation network and the economic growth of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area. The city’s strategic location between Charlotte and Gastonia has created physical growth as evidenced by the continuous expansion of the corporate limits since 1879.

[Text from the City of Mount Holly’s 2001 Land Development Plan]