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Gaston County History: Cities & Towns: Stanley



See TopoQuest map.

See current census information.

Official city website.

Stanley grew from a mid-1700's settlement along a small creek in (then) Tryon County reportedly named for a gold prospector "Mr. Stanley" who had moved on. Gold was a profitable industry in the early 1800's; in Stanley Creek Community, the More and the Smith gold mines supplied ore for coining to the U.S. Mint until North Carolina's Gold Rush was eclipsed by California's in 1849. The year 1860 saw the community connected by rail to Charlotte and points east. After the Civil War, textiles came to Gaston County because of the plentiful water power for the mills: Stanley Creek Cotton Mills (est.1891) underwent several owner and name changes to become, in 1918, the Lola Manufacturing Company. The Stanley Creek Community itself underwent name changes as building the Brevard Station (which developed its own community,) resulted in merging two communities and incorporating in 1870 as Brevard Station Community, then Stanley Creek, and finally, Stanley.

In Stanley: The Brevard Station Museum, "Brevard Station Museum traces Stanley History" Banner News

Stanley Historical Resources

    • Echoes and shadows of two centuries: 1750 to 1950 : a collection of interesting tidbits relating to the history of Stanley, North Carolina, by Joyce J. Handsel (pub. 2011), call #: 975.677 HAN N.C.
    • History of Gastonia and Gaston County, by Robert Allison Ragan (pub. 1999), call #: 975.677 Rag NCC, particularly p. 580-584.
  • For city directory listings that include Stanley, see our guide City Directories.

Stanley, North Carolina 2020 [World Population Review]
Stanley, North Carolina, Economy [DataUSA]

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