Up until the 1750’s the Catawba Indian Tribe ruled what is know as present York County, SC. Changes to their culture came with arrival of white settlers on the eve of the American Revolution. Two important victories during the American Revolution, the Battle of Huck’s Defeat and Kings Mountain, took place in York County.
The economy of the area shifted toward the production of cotton in the late 18th century. York, the county seat, served as the educational and trading center for most of the rural populace. Diversification of York County’s economy began in 1880 with the building of the Rock Hill Cotton Factory. Its success led to the construction of several other cotton factories and concerns, including the Anderson Automobile and the forerunner of Springs Industries, the Fort Mill Manufacturing Company.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, York County’s interest in higher education, along with its proven business record, created the atmosphere to establish three institutions of higher learning, the best know of these is Winthrop University in Rock Hill. The post WWII industrial development of the county has continued to change the face of York County, while helping fuel the preservation of its rich and diverse heritage.
The Charlotte region is located found in the Southwestern portion of the Piedmont, and includes some thirteen counties that surround the city of Charlotte itself. The communities in this region range from small country towns to hip city neighborhoods.
Known as the City of Trees, Charlotte itself is one of those rare cities that has managed to grow rapidly without sacrificing the quality of life that it’s citizens have always enjoyed. The city was formed initially as location for trade, and in much the same spirit Charlotte has become the 2nd largest banking and financial center in the United States. Today Charlotte offers rich cultural opportunities, quality education, and a cost of living much lower than most cities its size.
Gaston County is strategically located just west of Charlotte (Mecklenburg County) in the Southern Piedmont of North Carolina. Gaston County is one of one hundred counties created by the North Carolina State Legislature.
It ranks 74th in size consisting of approximately 364.5 square miles, and is seventh in population with the 1990 population recorded at 175,093. The County has fifteen incorporated towns, the most of any county in North Carolina.