Noted as the “Crossroads of Gaston County,” the small, historic Town of Dallas (named after George
Mifflin Dallas, the eleventh vice president of the United States) is located near the county’s geographic
center and immediately north of the Interstate 85 and US 321 interchange.
Established as the first seat of Gaston County government in 1846, Dallas would go on to officially
incorporate as a town on February 11, 1863. Fast-forward to 2015, and the 4670 residents of
this postcard-like oasis of southern charm and hospitality have honored their sesquicentennial
anniversary by completing the comprehensive restoration and enhancement of the nationally registered
(1848) historic courthouse building and traditional downtown public square. The area still serves as the
town’s focal point for family-oriented gatherings and events and will continue to do so long into the future.
One of Dallas’ most accomplished and revered residents, the late Dr. William C. Friday, grew up in
a small frame house only blocks from the square. His distinguished career in higher education was
hallmarked by his service as the longest-tenured president (1956-1986) in the University of North
Carolina system. The university system’s growth, prestige and status as one of the nation’s premier
institutions were largely defined by Dr. Friday’s active presence. Today, the William C. Friday Middle
School reflects his legacy of educational service and leadership.
The Gaston County Museum of Art and History is located in Dallas opposite the Courthouse Square
in the 1852-vintage former Hoffman Hotel where visitors to the preserved structure can tour two floors of
extensive, changing exhibits on local and regional art and history, including the state’s largest collection of
horse-drawn vehicles and the permanent Carolina’s textile exhibit. Just up the road, beyond a burgeoning
commercial and retail center at the US 321 Interchange, lies the campus of Gaston College, where nearly a
half-million square feet of classroom, laboratory and support buildings allow some 16,000 students annually to attend classes toward degree and certificate programs as part of the North Carolina Community College System.
With a highly successful municipal electric utility providing reliable, low-cost power; a water and
wastewater system growing in capacity and quality; well-equipped and trained public safety departments and family-oriented recreational facilities and programming Dallas is poised for a sustainable future, where
progress is respected and actively pursued while legacies are acknowledged and honored.