Tell A Friend
About This Site
The History of Stanley, North Carolina
[ Back ] [ Home ] [ Next ]
Stanley, North Carolina
is a small town, but one of the oldest in Gaston County, actually beginning in the early to middle
1700's. An elusive prospector named Stanley panned for gold in a creek that came to bear his name.
Mr. Stanley left the area and his exact identity was lost to time, however, a
community sprang up along the creek which became known as Stanley's Creek
Community. During the Civil War years, the town's railroad depot,
Brevard's Station, named for the original landowners, the
Alexander Brevard family, was a major departure point
for soldiers leaving for the war, and also for sending provisions to soldiers in the field.
Click the Stanley sign or one of the tabs
below to begin your journey through Stanley's history!
The following pages are excerpts from the book:
Echoes and Shadows of Two Centuries 1750 - 1950
The History of Stanley, North Carolina
by Joyce Handsel and Ruth Wood, |
Administrators of the Brevard
Station Museum and
The Stanley Historical Association
Copyright © 1999 By the Stanley
Copies of this book are available for purchase. See the bottom of this page for details.
Stanley, North Carolina actually had its beginning in the middle to late 1700’s when pioneers first began arriving in the wilderness of the Catawba River region. Some of the early settlers made their first homes along the
banks of a small creek which emptied into a larger creek before reaching the river. This small creek was named
Stanley’s for a gold prospector who had ventured into the territory and then moved on farther south.
The congregation of settlers quickly began being referred to as the Stanley’s Creek
The Stanley’s Creek Community existed over one hundred years before incorporating as a town, and
this is one of the oldest settlements in today’s Gaston County. Our town has remained one of the smaller towns in
the county, but does not lack for historical significance.
Over the years our area was visited by several prominent people; a botanist and adventurer,
André Michaux; the British General Lord Cornwallis; Civil War General Stonewall Jackson who married a lady from
near Stanley; and many others. However, the ingredient that gives our town the distinction of being a terrific
place is the folks who have chosen to live here.
A diverse group, from the original landowners who were the Native Americans, or the Catawba Indians,
to the wealthy landowners, the merchants, the craftsmen such as blacksmiths, furniture makers, potters,
saddle makers, etc., as well as the teachers, the preachers, the homemakers, the outlying farmers, the students, the
gold miners, the athletes, the mill workers, to all just plain good folk, have made Stanley what it was in the past,
what it is today and what it will be tomorrow.
The recording of the History of Stanley was spurred by a poem written in 1989 by Sara H.
officials were inspired to form a committee to gather and record bits and pieces of information regarding
Stanley’s past; and thus began the Stanley Historical Association.
Many pictures have been included in
our book, "Echoes and Shadows of Two Centuries,
1750 - 1950, The History of Stanley, North Carolina" as well as information taken from newspaper clippings that
reported on instances as they happened, with an attempt to convey the type of life lived by our ancestors.
Eight years of research and many trips to obtain information have been made. Every effort was given to
document information and to record references used, though mistakes are inevitable when genealogy is involved,
and for any error we apologize. The genealogy is presented in an effort to show readers how the early settlers can
be connected to the people of today.
Our small town of Stanley is growing with new development on the horizon. We know not what the future
holds for us. But feel an ever increasing desire to record the history of our town, with a desire that the children of
today and the children of the future will have knowledge of and take pride in this unique small town in which we
All rights reserved. No part of this site may be reproduced
in any form
without the written permission of the publisher.
Published by the
Stanley, North Carolina Historical Association
Library of Congress
Catalog Card Number 99-71321
International Standard Book Number
[ The Museum ] [ Contact Us ] [ Stanley History ] [ Photo Galleries ] [ Citizens ] [ Recollections ] [ Schools ] [ Churches ] [ Community ] [ Current News ] [ Order the Books ] [ Topic Index ] [ Site Index ] [ Search ] [ Acknowledgments ] [ Related Links ] [ Guestbook ]