Mountain Island, North Carolina

Mountain Island, North Carolina
Mountain Island, North Carolina
—  Populated place  —
Location of Mountain Island , North Carolina
Coordinates: 35°20′00″N 80°59′58″W / 35.3333333°N 80.99944°W / 35.3333333; -80.99944Coordinates: 35°20′00″N 80°59′58″W / 35.3333333°N 80.99944°W / 35.3333333; -80.99944
Country  United States
State  North Carolina
County Gaston
Elevation 709 ft (216 m)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 – Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 704
GNIS feature ID 990700[1]

Mountain Island is an unincorporated area in Gaston County, North Carolina, United States. It is approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) north of Mount Holly.

Mountain Island is named for a small island in Mountain Island Lake, on the border of Gaston and Mecklenburg counties. Located on the extreme southern end of the lake, the island is mainly used as an anchor point for recreation, picnicking, and camping.

A cotton mill, said by some authorities to be the first in Gaston County, was established on Mountain Island in 1848 by Thomas R. Tate and Henry Humphreys, owners of the Mount Hecla steam-powered mill near Greensboro, North Carolina. They hoped to take advantage of the less expensive water power from the Catawba River. The site at river’s edge featured a partially completed canal around the shoals that could be used for a mill race, and a steep island whose top now rises from the lake. Machinery was moved from the Mount Hecla mill by mule-drawn wagon and operations began in 1849. A village of brick houses grew around the mill. The mill and village were destroyed on July 15, 1916 in a flood caused by a hurricane[2][3].

In 1920 the Charlottesville, Virginia company of Rinehart and Dennis was awarded a Duke Power Company contract to build a dam at Mountain Island for the purpose of using water power to generate electricity. To supplement housing for its workers, a large number of temporary frame houses were built by the contractor. In 1923, only seven years after the flood, the Mountain Island Hydroelectric Plant was completed and in service[4]. The Mountain Island Dam and Hydroelectric Station still operates today.


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Mountain Island, North Carolina
  2. ^ County Profile, Gaston County government official website. Retrieved on 2008-07-05.
  3. ^ Tom Bradbury, "Mountain Island: Until the flood of 1916, mill community thrived where the dam stands and debate rages", The Charlotte Observer, August 1, 1991. Retrieved on 2008-07-05 from Gaston County History
  4. ^ Glenda R. Loftin, "Mountain Island – From Mill to Hydroelectricity", The Belmont Banner - Mount Holly News. Retrieved on 2008-07-05 from Gaston County History

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