|Cherryville, population 5,906, is situated in the southwest Piedmont's Catawba River basin sixteen miles northwest of Gastonia, Gaston County's seat. The Cherryville Downtown Historic District meets National Register Criteria A and C in the areas of Commerce and Architecture. This intact and cohesive group of early- to mid-twentieth-century commercial buildings and residences manifests the community's industry-driven commercial expansion during that period. The Wilmington, Charlotte, and Rutherford Railroad's November 1862 extension to White Pine, which became Cherryville, facilitated commerce and influenced road and building arrangement. However, it was not until the 1890s that industrial growth precipitated significant economic development. Cherryville Manufacturing Company, the town's first cotton mill, commenced production in 1892 and had immediate impact as a manufacturer, employer, consumer oflocal goods and services, and taxpayer. Five additional mills followed and prospered, attracting new residents. Population increases necessitated worker housing construction in mill-owned villages and contiguous areas. Industrialists and merchants erected expansive residences, four of which are in the historic district. The flourishing economy encouraged entrepreneurial investment in mercantile concerns, professional offices, restaurants, and entertainment venues, which proliferated along Main Street and intersecting roads through the mid-twentieth century.