|The land on which
Cherryville now stands was originally known as "White Pine". During the
last half of the 18th century, Scotch-Irish and German families from
the Colony of Pennsylvania migrated south and settled into the
"panhandle" section of Gaston County.
Land grants by the king of
England date back to 1768, and as early as 1792 Governor Samuel Ashe of
North Carolina made original land grants in and around "White Pine". By
this token Cherryville can be considered one of the oldest cities in
The village began to develop
at a crossroads on Old Post Road. 'Ibis road served as a main
thoroughfare between Salisbury, NC and Spartanburg, SC. In 1853, Henry
Summit's Cross Roads Store, first store in the area, was established on
this famous road.
(Turn of the century)
It was in 1862 that the
Wilmington-Charlotte-Rutherford Railroad (later known as Carolina
Central Railroad) reached White Pine. With the arrival of rail
transportation, more homes and small businesses appeared in the
village. On November 2, 1865, near the close of the Civil War, the name
White Pine was changed to Cherryville.
The following Story has been
told time and time again.
One morning in early spring,
a Southern lady named Elizabeth Black set out some of her "redhearted"
cherry seedlings. She carefully planted them in the comers of the rail
fence which bordered the lane leading into the village. In the
springtime those who passed along Old Post Road were attracted by the
beautiful. cherry blossoms. Gradually these folks began to speak of the
settlement along the railroad as Cherry Lane. So it was that the cherry
tree rather than the white pine tree became Cherryville's namesake.
In 1881 the town of
Cherryville, with a population of 68, was incorporated. In 1891
Cherryville's first cotton all, Cherryville Manufacturing Plant, was
incorporated. It was soon followed by the opening of three other mills.
Cherryville was growing from a farming settlement to a textile
community. By the turn of the century, the rural village had become a
bustling industrial community of a thousand people. For the next one
hundred years, Cherryville was blessed with community leaders deeply
committed to. Their employees and dedicated to the welfare of the
Religion was one of the
foundation stones upon which the town of Cherryville was built. The
first church in Cherryville, St. John's Lutheran Church, was founded in
1881. Other churches were organized soon after: the Methodist Church in
1882, the Baptist and Presbyterian churches in 1893. Existing records
show that prior to 1872 groups of Christians were meeting in Henry
Summit's granary for religious services.
The Cherryville community
has always taken interest in its schools. Long before a special school
district existed, schools were being held in the area. In 1881
Cherryville was made a separate school district by an act of Gaston
County. In the year 1915 Cherryville School District achieved its legal
status through a special charter granted by the North Carolina General
Assembly. The Cherryville District lost its status in 1968 when the
three school districts in Gaston County were consolidated.
A Replica of the First Carolina
In 1932 a major turning
point occurred in the life of Cherryville. A trucking company began
operating in Cherryville with one truck hauling produce from Florida to
Cherryville. A core of talented men and women soon built this company
into one of the largest and most respected freight carriers in the
nation. The company, known as Carolina Freight Carriers Corporation,
expanded into foreign markets and became an international carrier. The
huge success of this company contributed much to the prosperity of
Cherryville. After an era more than sixty years, the services of
Carolina Freight were brought to a halt in October 1995 when Arkansas
Best Trucking Company bought out the Carolina Carrier.
Unlike so many small towns
today, Cherryville still has a vital main street commercial district
The townspeople take pride in the fact that Cherryville was the first
community in the state to have an Economic Development Commission. The
interaction of schools, churches, and community is strongly felt in
Cherryville. The citizens have a genuine interest in their institutions
and traditions such as their Historical Museum their Truck Museum,
their baseball teams, their Cherryville Area Ministries, their city
government their civic clubs, and most importantly, their families.
A hard-surface road has
taken the place of the original Cherry Lane and the automobile has
replaced the stage coach which once passed along the Old Post Road.
Much has been changed by time, but not the cherry trees. They still
brighten the landscape each spring with their beautiful blossoms just
as they did long ago in the comers of an old rail fence.