The City’s Founder, John Askew Smith, had big plans. Mr. Smith had Bessemer City envisioned as a thriving community developed on the Jeffersonian Grid system that included transportation blocks (i.e. grid system), pocket parks, walkable neighborhoods, business districts, and a city center district.
Chartered as a City by the North Carolina General Assembly under Session Law, Session 1893; Chapter 377, Bessemer City officially organized as a municipality. The pre-planned community with a local economic driver, mining and textiles, would soon take off as a thriving center for employment, business, and residency in Western Gaston County. The most notable textile mill established in Bessemer City was the Osage Mill, established in 1896 by John Smith. The mill still serves as an iconic foundation of the City’s textile past and growth.
Bessemer City experienced a booming textile economy in the middle of the 20th century. The once sleeping mill village evolved into a thriving community with an active downtown and employment for residents.
Like many communities across the United States, Bessemer City’s economy took a downturn when textile mills moved overseas. Several generations of textile workers found themselves without work. The community was strong, though. Most residents stayed in Bessemer City and began to explore other employment opportunities as the local job market changed.
The 2000s and specifically, the 2010s, Bessemer City saw a rebound in economic growth and community pride. The establishment and/or expansion of industries brought hundreds of jobs to the community. Residents began to change the perception of the community as a true ‘City with a Heart’ by interacting at local events, supporting public investment projects, and showing the region that the City is ready for it’s new chapter as the Charlotte areas continues to grow westward.
Bessemer City hold a promising future based off our resiliency from heritage and current growth patterns. Our proximity to Charlotte, success with high quality living, including economic development, public safety, recreation, and many other features makes our community ideal for future growth. We are perfectly positioned in the metro region as a community that preserves “small town” charm. Find your place in Bessemer City.