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Gaston County’s

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Thursday, January 14, 2021

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Thursday, January 14, 2021

Mt. Holly’s Arts on the Greenway is a happening place By Alan Hodge

The former Massey Building at 500 E. Central Ave. in Mt. Holly is a small, industrial type of structure that might not look like much on the outside, but inside its concrete walls is a cornucopia of beautiful and creative artworks done by members of the Arts on the Greenway group. Arts on the Greenway moved into the Massey Building a couple of years ago and transformed it from its previous role as a storage space for the City of Mt. Holly into a series of studios for Arts on the Greenway members, a retail space where members’ artworks are sold, art class space, and more. Overall the transformation has been nothing short of miraculous.

“It’s a happy place,” said Arts on the Greenway member Sandy Collier. Right now, there are around a dozen Arts on the Greenway members working in the building. Each member has a studio space where they let their creative juices flow in acrylics, pottery, watercolors, textile arts, jewelry making, and just about anything else they can think of. There’s also a retail space up front where pieces are offered for sale. “The gallery and retail pace is open Saturdays from 11am to 4pm,” said artist Dottie Scher. “Masks are required and the area is wiped down with sanitizer every thirty to forty five minutes.” Arts on the Greenway also has an online retail shop on its Facebook page. See ARTS, Page 5

Arts on the Greenway members from left- Jane Newsome, Wanda Campbell, Jason Reynolds, Sandy Collier, and Dottie Scher show off just one of the many wonderful items on display at the group’s headquarters in Mt. Holly. Photo by Alan Hodge

How our ancestors did business By Alan Hodge

Students are soaring to new heights in Career and Technical Education By Allison Drennan Gaston County Schools

Students should do what makes them happy, and they should love what they do. That is the attitude that Stuart W. Cramer High School teacher Rebecca Hill has as she teaches Sports Entertainment Marketing to her students every day. Hill is a part of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) faculty at Stuart W. Cramer, a job and a curriculum pathway that she truly enjoys. Recently, it was announced that Gaston County Schools ranks first in the state for the number of CTE credentials earned by students and first in the state for the percentage of students earning more than one credential in a particular CTE area. This is the only time since the state began tallying credentials data that the same county has captured both rankings. Four Gaston County high schools are in the top 15 statewide for the number of credentials earned by stu-

Rebecca Hill is a Career and Technical Education teacher at Stuart W. Cramer High. dents during the 2019-2020 year: Hunter Huss ranks second in the state with 2,976 credentials; Ashbrook ranks fifth with 2,297 credentials; Forestview ranks 13th with 1,721 credentials; and Stuart W. Cramer ranks 14th with 1,706 credentials. For Hill, she is proud to be associated with a Career and See STUDENTS, Page 4

These days most financial and business transactions involve the use of a computer or plastic card, but a recently discovered treasure trove of Belmont area documents from the 19th and early 20th centuries tells a story of deals made on a handshake, written on paper in flowing script, and signatures done with a flourish. The papers are mostly related to the Smith family that in the early 19th century owned most of Catawba Heights and North Belmont. However, other prominent names and signatures appear on the documents including Stowe, Abernathy, Lineberger, and Bishop Leo Haid of Belmont Abbey. The deeds, bills, and checks going back 177 years were once kept in a metal box in a cabinet in the Smith family farmhouse in Catawba Heights. When Sinclair Smith died in 1971, his sister Louise Surratt took the box to her home in Jackson Hill, N.C. When she died her son Julian found the box but it was many years before he forwarded the contents to cousin Rhonda Hambright in Georgia. She in turn gave the pack to her mother Emily Smith Helton who organized it chronologically and placed

it in an acid-proof album. Helton grew up in the farmhouse and remembered the box of ancestral documents. “We weren’t allowed to touch it,” she said. The earliest document is dated January 23, 1837 and involves a land deal between Robert Smith and John Hayes. Smith bought 500 acres in what is now North Belmont and Catawba Heights from Hayes for $1,000. The deal is written in cursive longhand and uses a measurement called a “pole” to lay out the linear boundaries. A pole, or rod, is 16.5 feet. Corner boundaries were marked by terms such as “black oak stump”, “large stone”, and “spring near a post oak”. Another land deed dated February 25, 1881 is between Robert Smith and his son, John B. Smith. This deed was for $237.50 and describes a property next to that of a “Louis Lineberger”. A hickory tree, an oak, a spring, and a graveyard wall are used as points of reference. The graveyard mentioned is Old Goshen Cemetery on Woodlawn Ave. in North Belmont. Yet another original deed in the archival material dated March 8, 1889 is between G.W. and Susan Abernethy and John B. Smith. This 31 acre plot adjoined property

The Smiths owned by Jasper Robinson and stretched from North Belmont to the South Fork River. The cost was $200. Belmont Abbey Bishop Leo Haid was also a player in local land deals. A deed bearing his signature and dated February 8, 1905 reveals that

Haid (likely acting on behalf of the Abbey) transferred five acres to Andrew Jackson Goforth and his wife Catherine for the sum of $150.00. Modern property lines are marked by satellite such as See ANCESTORS, Page 4