Shelby, North Carolina, known as ‘The City of Pleasant Living’ is found where the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains meet the state’s thriving Piedmont Region. Shelby offers the grace of small town living among lovely rolling hills, along with the growing prosperity of southwestern North Carolina. Designated an All American City in 1970, Shelby also became one of the very first National Main Street Communities in 1980.
Incorporated in 1843, Shelby’s population is 19,477 according to the Census 2000. Residents enjoy a moderate climate, with a January average temperature of 39 degrees, and July temperatures averaging 78 degrees. A mere five inches of snow falls during the winter months. Shelby townspeople delight in the rugged mountains to their west as well as quick and easy access to the beautiful North Carolina Coastal Region. Interstates 85 and US-74 serve the town, along with NC routes 150, 18 and 26, giving businesses and residents alike plenty of transportation choices to the nearby cities of Gastonia and Charlotte. The Norfolk Southern and CSX Railroads also provide transport.
Shelby is the county seat of Cleveland County, known as the gateway between Asheville and Charlotte. Strategically located in the center of the thriving metropolises of Greenville / Spartanburg SC and Charlotte, county residents enjoy a diverse economy, which does not rely on one industry. Manufacturing firms count for 40% of the employers, making a broad array of products, from truck cabs to compact discs. Over 250 trucking firms flourish in the county, where more than half the nation can be reached within 24 hours.
Shelby’s Uptown District, known as the ‘front porch’ of Cleveland County, draws visitors and shoppers from all over the region. A nationally recognized Historic District, quality shops and restaurants entice tourists and locals alike. Old-fashioned Southern cooking is served up as well as Asian, Italian and Mexican cuisine. The annual Livermush Expo can only be experienced here. Antiques, books and crafts abound and the year-round Farmer’s Market is just the place to shop for local fresh produce. The Shelby Arts Council is found in the Uptown District and puts on “Alive After Five” concerts in the town square.
Shelby’s City Park Carousel delights young and old. Originally built in 1918, the 32-horse carousel was lovingly restored and brought back to service by the volunteer hours of labor and funding from the community. An authentic Carousel Band Organ provides the joyous music. A miniature train ride through the park tops off the day. The train was also restored through the efforts of Shelby’s Rotary club, serving as an example of the pride and care that Shelby residents have in their wonderful town.
Shelby, North Carolina is the epitome of Southern small-town gracious living, while the bustle and excitement of modern day life lays just a stone’s throw away. Whether one is just visiting, or relocating, Shelby offers something for everyone.