~ The pieces are all sewn together, stitched with love.........and a quilt tells a story and the story is our past ~

The Arrowood family immigrated from England to Maryland in the 1700's. They went south, eventually settling in the mountains of North Carolina. Later , some went further south, into the Piedmont of North Carolina, in search of work and a better way of life.

I am in search of my family.

I search for those that came before me, and lived their lives as best they could. I am in search of their stories, how they lived, and how they loved.

I shared this love of seeking the past with my Dad, sharing each new finding with him, the thrill in his heart intermingling with mine. I continue this search in his honor, and hope to know these people of ours when I join up with them all in heaven.

~ Steve Lewis Arrowood 1932-2008 ~

Come with me, back to a simpler time and place. A place far removed from the hectic pace of today. To a time when life was hard, but the rewards were great. When your quality of life was determined by your own sweat, your own toil, and your own ingenuity.

Would you like a glass of sweet tea? Let's sit out on the porch where we will catch the sweetly scented breeze of summertime. Maybe Grandma will fry up some of her wonderful chicken... Time slows here.


"We shape our lives not by what we carry with us, but what we leave behind."

~You live as long as you are remembered.~

"Our most treasured family heirlooms are our sweet family memories. " Author: Unknown

"But those who came before us will teach you. They will teach you from the wisdom of former generations."


Arrowood Family

Monday, August 3, 2009

History Of Gastonia, North Carolina

Gastonia, centered in the middle of Gaston County, began as a railroad junction settlement between the Charlotte and Atlanta Airline Railroad, now the Southern Railway, and the Chester and Lenoir Narrow Gauge line. The location of the railroads in Gaston County shifted the focus of the land from essentially agriculture to what would become one of the greatest centers for textile production in the world. By 1876 a population of a little more than 200 people made this junction crossroads, called Gastonia Station, their home. With the increase of employment and social opportunities the community petitioned the North Carolina General Assembly to grant a charter of incorporation. On January 26, 1877, Gastonia incorporated with its limits extending 1/2 mile from the railroad junction.
By 1910 Gastonia was home to 11 cotton mills, a public school system, electric lights and began paving roads. Hence the town of Gastonia grew and slowly outdistanced its neighbors as the central hub of political and social activity and in 1911 replaced Dallas as the county seat.
Also in 1911, Gastonia doubled its size when it annexed the huge Loray Mills and its surrounding settlements (to the west of the city limits). Another significant annexation occurred in 1964 when the city annexed a large tract of land to the east and increased its size again by about one half. This area also includes what is now the retail center for the region. In 1911 the Piedmont and Northern Railroad (P&N) an interurban line began running from Gastonia to Charlotte and furnished the city with its first and only streetcar. The streetcar ran directly along Franklin Avenue starting at Webb Street and continuing to Church Street. The line continued to Groves Mill before connecting with the P&N. In later years with the increased use of the automobile this location became a source of aggravation for many motorists and in 1948, Gastonia retired its last street car. In the late 1920’s Wilkinson Blvd. was built and became North Carolinas first four lane highway.
Physically, Gastonia has many influences, past and present, affecting its development. Originally people and industries settled along the rivers because of fertile lands and water power. After the technology for steam power became available, factories no longer depended on their location next to water and began setting up along the rail lines to take advantage of their easy and affordable transportation. Naturally, villages followed the mills and Gastonia developed as a collection of dispersed communities complete with their own shopping, civic and religious centers, usually tied to the mill itself. As the population increased and industries diversified, Gastonia began to fill out. Like many other cities that developed under the influence of the automobile Gastonia witnessed a decline of commercial and residential uses in its central core and an increase of strip developments along major thoroughfares. A movement of residential uses to the periphery has also been evident.
By 1930 the population had increased to 17,093 with about 22% of that population employed in the textile mills. Before the end of the year one of two mill workers was unemployed and most employed workers were on part-time schedules. Mill workers brought in from the mountains, skilled only in farming and factory work, were idle unless they could return to the land. December of 1930 saw half of the population unemployed, and the First National Bank closed its doors followed by four other local banks. Textile mills either combined, incorporated, or closed.

This way of life was slowly coming to an end. Below is Main Street Gastonia in 1899.

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