Belmont (A Charlotte Neighborhood)
Belmont is a small suburban city in Gaston County, North Carolina, United States, located about 15 miles (24 km) west of uptown Charlotte and 9 miles (14 km) east of Gastonia. The population was 10,076 at the 2010 census. Once known as Garibaldi Station, the name change for Belmont is disputed. Some say it was named for a prominent New York banker – August Belmont. Others contend the Pope ordered the abbot of the monastery to change the name since he would not tolerate an abbey in a place that bore the Garibaldi name. The abbot could see Crowder’s mountain from the property and named the town Belmont – “beautiful mountain”. Belmont is home to Belmont Abbey College
Belmont is located at (35.244496, -81.035650).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.1 square miles (26.2 km2), of which 9.9 square miles (25.7 km2) is land and 0.19 square miles (0.5 km2), or 1.74%, is water.
Nestled in the southern Piedmont region of North Carolina, the town of Belmont is flanked by two rivers, the Catawba River and its right tributary, the South Fork Catawba River. Adjacent to Belmont, the rivers make up two arms of Lake Wylie and form a peninsula on which the city is situated.
Areas to the west of the center of town are part of the South Fork Catawba watershed. Eastern parts of Belmont north of the Norfolk Southern Railway belong to the Catawba Heights watershed, while those to the south are in the Paw Creek watershed. Areas of unincorporated South Point Township south of Belmont belong to the Neal Branch-Beaverdam Creek watershed.
Points of interest
The Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is a 450-acre (1.8 km2) world-class botanical garden located on New Hope Road southwest of Belmont. Daniel J. Stowe, a retired textile executive, set aside the property and established a foundation to develop the garden. The first gardens opened to the public in 1999.
The Downtown Belmont Historic District has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1996. Roughly bounded by the former campus of Sacred Heart College, the Norfolk Southern Railway line, Main, Glenway, and Bryant streets, Keener Boulevard, and Central Avenue, the district covers 1,700 acres (6.9 km2). It contains 264 buildings and two structures built between 1850 and 1949, including examples of Tudor Revival, Bungalow/Craftsman, and Colonial Revival architectural styles. It includes the Colonial Revival-style former US Post Office at 115 N. Main Street, now the Belmont City Hall. The Belmont Hosiery Mill at 608 S. Main Street is also listed on the National Register.
Stowe Manor, at 217 South Central Avenue, is the 1920s mansion built for textile magnate S.P. Stowe.
The campus of Belmont Abbey has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places as an Historic District since 1973. The Abbey Basilica of Mary Help of Christians is the central feature of the campus. Built in the German Gothic Revival architectural style, the basilica was the largest Catholic church in North Carolina at the time of its construction. The monks of Belmont Abbey did much of the construction work themselves. The original art glass windows of the Basilica were designed and executed by the Royal Bavarian Establishment of Francis Mayer and Company of Munich, Germany. They were painted then heat-fused, allowing for greater detail than was possible with stained glass. The windows were part of a display that won four gold medals at the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1892. The Basilica held cathedral rank from 1910 to 1977. It was elevated to the rank of a Minor Basilica on July 27, 1998.
The Belmont Historical Society Cultural and Heritage Learning Center is located in the former R.L. Stowe home at 40 Catawba Street. Built in 1899, it is believed to be the third oldest home in Belmont. The property also contains a free-standing kitchen, a mill house, and a garage. Displays include furnishings, artifacts, and pictures which tell the history of Belmont from the time of its Native American inhabitants through the textile age.
The U.S. National Whitewater Center is located just across the Catawba River from Belmont in Mecklenburg County. Situated on the east bank of the river, the Center is a non-profit outdoor recreation facility for whitewater rafting, canoeing, and kayaking. It opened for public use in 2006.
Recently, the downtown area of Belmont has been expanding and adding new attractions like restaurants, bars, and comedy clubs. The Caravan Coffee and Dessert Bar is a coffee shop in the downtown part of Belmont next to Stowe Park that hosts the “Caravan Jam” every Wednesday night and “Piano Nights” every other Thursday. The Stowe Mercantile Co., a downtown general store, and Bill’s Belmont Drive-In, more commonly known just as the “Drive-In”, have been a major part of the Belmont community for a long time. Cherub’s Café & Candy Bouquet is an outreach of Holy Angels and is a café that provides vocational training and meaningful supported employment options for individuals with intellectual developmental disabilities. Kevin Jonas, Sr. (father of Kevin, Joe, and Nick of The Jonas Brothers fame) opened Nellie’s Southern Kitchen in June 2016. The restaurant features southern comfort food and live music provided by a house band as well as members of the wait staff.