Bessemer City, North Carolina
When James Ormand was commissioned land by King George II in 1754, he established the Ormand Mining Company and Bessemer City was born. The township, then, began its long legacy with mining, opening the Ormand Furnance, now still standing as the oldest of its kind in the nation, to process iron ore for Revolutionary War cannons.
Though years of rezoning and land reallocation moved the community from Tryon to Gaston County and agriculture eventually became a hot topic of the south, the mining economy never completely disappeared in this city. Today, next to dairy farms and old cotton mills, mining centers thrive as top Bessemer City producers, often solidifying the importance of Bessemer City on a national and international level. FMC Lithium, Inc, for instance, is the largest producer of lithium in both North and South America. The company, while catering to the pharmaceutical and battery needs of the Americas, also happens to call Bessemer City home.
Even with its powerful business reputation, Bessemer City manages to have a lively, loving community. Whether it is because of natural southern charm or just good-natured residents, the town’s annual Down Home Festival never fails to showcase the best aspects of the city. Complete with rides, barbeque, and a beauty pageant, this engaging tradition keeps a close knit community year-round.
Nearby cities also give the town a little bang for its buck. Kings Mountain’s National Military Park and Saluda’s Green River offer hiking and whitewater rafting to entertain adventurous locals. While only making up two of a long list of favorite getaways, residents of Bessemer City don’t have far to travel to curb the thrill-seeking edge that often comes after a long work week.
Lots of affable neighbors and a healthy back-story make Bessemer City shine. Consistently successful in every attempt, North Carolina’s booming mining settlement is a diamond in the rough.