Cleveland County

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Learn about the county and its relationship to the region.
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Articles about Cleveland County

  • A 2.2-mile section of Carolina Thread Trail weaves through a 358-acre permanently conserved area that’s protected by Catawba Lands Conservancy (CLC) within the Girl Scouts’ Dale Earnhardt Environmental Leadership Campus at Oak Springs in Iredell County. The trail is called Girl Scouts, Hornets’ Nest Council Trail. Photo: Nancy Pierce

    Forging connections across the Carolinas – one greenway, trail and waterway at a time

    Natural aesthetic appeal, increased economic vitality, a reason to leave your car behind, a walking and biking connection between communities in two states: Organizers hope to deliver all of that, and more, through the growing Carolina Thread Trail network of greenways, waterways and trails.
  • Musical heritage: Meet Earl Scruggs and Don Gibson

    Meet Earl Scruggs and Don Gibson, two men who changed country music and helped save their hometown. 
  • Finding the Music, Part 3: 'A 38-year overnight success story'

    The revivalists in Shelby focused on Uncle Earl and Gibson, approaching the county, the courthouse’s owner, about a first-rate Scruggs exhibit and arranged to lease it for $1 a year. The city of Shelby had bought the empty theater 30 years earlier and was threatening to tear it down for a parking lot, until task force members asked to rent the space for the same amount, said Anthony, the mayor.
  • People jamming out at the Bluegrass & Old-Time Jam Session on trhe square in Shelby, at the Earl Scruggs Center. Photo: Nancy Pierce

    Finding the Music, Part 2: 'We needed to do something bold'

    What happened in Shelby played out across the Carolinas, where textiles were once the driver of small-town economies. Shelby’s mills once paid some of the state’s highest wages. The industry’s long collapse in Cleveland County started in the late 1940s with a boll weevil infestation that destroyed the state’s largest cotton production, and ended in the late 1990s and early 2000s when global trade policies expanded markets, flooding the United States with cheaper goods.