Mount Gilead, North Carolina

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Mount Gilead, North Carolina
Downtown, Mount Gilead
Downtown, Mount Gilead
"Surrounded by nature - forests, lakes, rivers...Embedded with culture, history..."
Location of Mount Gilead, North Carolina
Location of Mount Gilead, North Carolina
Coordinates: 35°12′57″N 80°0′19″W / 35.21583°N 80.00528°W / 35.21583; -80.00528Coordinates: 35°12′57″N 80°0′19″W / 35.21583°N 80.00528°W / 35.21583; -80.00528
CountryUnited States
StateNorth Carolina
 • MayorJoseph "Chip" Miller, Jr.
 • Town ManagerMatthew Christian
 • Total3.3 sq mi (8.5 km2)
 • Land3.3 sq mi (8.5 km2)
 • Water0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
427 ft (130 m)
 • Total1,181
 • Estimate 
 • Density360/sq mi (140/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)910
FIPS code37-44900[2]
GNIS feature ID1013735[3]

Mount Gilead is a town in Montgomery County, in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, United States. The population was 1,181 at the 2010 census.


Mount Gilead is located at 35°12′57″N 80°0′19″W / 35.21583°N 80.00528°W / 35.21583; -80.00528 (35.215793, -80.005252).[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.3 square miles (8.5 km²), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20161,171[1]−0.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 1,389 people, 502 households, and 367 families residing in the town. The population density was 424.2 people per square mile (164.0/km²). There were 553 housing units at an average density of 168.9 per square mile (65.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 50.04% African American, 46.29% White, 0.50% Native American, 2.16% Asian, 0.29% from other races, and 0.72% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.58% of the population.

There were 502 households out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.8% were married couples living together, 20.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.7% were non-families. 25.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the town, the population was spread out with 26.6% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 25.3% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 18.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 80.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 74.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $31,250, and the median income for a family was $36,250. Males had a median income of $29,375 versus $21,750 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,236. About 15.6% of families and 18.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.5% of those under age 18 and 14.8% of those age 65 or over.


Ancient history[edit]

This region was occupied by the Pee Dee culture, part of the Southern Appalachian Mississippian Culture, from about 980 to 1150 CE. They built the earthwork platform mound and other structures at Town Creek Indian Mound, which has been designated a National Historic Landmark since 1966. It is the only Native American site in the state to be designated as a national landmark. In the 21st century, the Pee Dee are based in South Carolina, where the state has recognized several bands as tribes.

European-American settlement[edit]

Mount Gilead was incorporated in 1899 as the textile industry built mills in the Piedmont section of the state above the fall line of rivers. They processed the commodity crop of cotton, which had been important to the South since before the Civil War. The textile mills provided jobs to white residents of the region, later also employing blacks and supporting relative prosperity in the region.

Since the late 20th century, many textile jobs moved offshore in a restructuring of the industry as it sought lower labor costs. Like many small southern towns, Mount Gilead suffered economic and population decline following the loss of these textile jobs.

Historic District and sites[edit]

The town has begun to emphasize the appeal of its historic resources. Its Historic District has been inventoried and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. Mount Gilead was selected to participate in the N.C. Small Town Main Street Program (co-sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and received a S.T.E.P. (Small Town Economic Prosperity) grant of $220,000 to help revitalize the downtown area and create jobs, respectively.[citation needed]

The Mount Gilead Museum is located in a restored Victorian house near the downtown area. The house belonged to the McAulay family, who played an important role in Mount Gilead business, church, social, and civic life. The museum houses many documents, photographs, and historic artifacts that tell the story of Mount Gilead's past.

Notable people from Mount Gilead[edit]

The Haywood plantation house where Oscar Haywood lived is in Mount Gilead. He is buried in Sharon Cemetery in the town.

Mount Gilead is the birthplace of noted civil rights attorney Julius L. Chambers (b. 1936).[6] A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (J.D., 1962), Chambers served as editor-in-chief of the school's Law Review. He next earned a master of law degree from New York's Columbia University in 1964.

He returned to North Carolina, where he opened a law practice that became the state's first integrated one. Chambers and his founding partners, James E. Ferguson, II and Adam Stein, worked with lawyers of the Legal Defense Fund of the NAACP, to successfully litigate civil rights cases. They helped shape the contours of civil rights law by winning landmark United States Supreme Court rulings in such cases as Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, 402 U.S. 1 (1971), which supported busing of students to achieve integration of schools. Griggs v. Duke Power Co. 401 U.S. 424, 91 S.Ct. 849, 28 L.Ed.2d 158 (1971) and Albemarle Paper Co. v. Moody, 422 U.S. 405 (1975) were two of the Supreme Court's most significant Title VII employment discrimination decisions.[6]


The Piedmont Center of the Arts and The Ford Place Restaurant, Pub & Special Events Center were developed with funding from the North Carolina Rural Center. The arts facility houses a wood-turner who gives lessons, the office of the Mount Gilead Arts Guild, a retail co-op store, and a clock repair shop. The restaurant is based in an adapted Ford dealership. Customers see much of the town's history preserved on the walls and under glass on the tables.

Mount Gilead has a number of accomplished visual and performing artists who routinely show their work at the arts complex.

The Mount Gilead Community Concerts Association (MGCCA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to presenting a program of diverse performing arts to the local area. Incorporated in 2001, the organization presents an annual Concert Series featuring visiting musicians. When possible, these artists present a program for local school students. MGCCA is governed by a volunteer board of directors and supported through the contributions of local individuals and companies.

The Mount Gilead Community Choir has produced annual concerts since its founding in 1995. This group of volunteer singers traditionally presents a Christmas concert on the first Sunday in December. The choir is supported in part by the Mount Gilead Community Concerts Association (MGCCA), and more information can be found of the organization's website.

Community Radio WMTG (88.1 FM) is a non-commercial, low-power station that serves the town by airing announcements of local interest. The station programs a mix of oldies and adult contemporary music and broadcasts 24 hours a day. WMTG is a service of the Mount Gilead Community Concerts Association (MGCCA).


  1. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  5. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  6. ^ a b UNC Faculty Directory

External links[edit]