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Mount Gilead, North Carolina
Downtown, Mount Gilead
Downtown, Mount Gilead
Motto: "Surrounded by nature - forests, lakes, rivers...Embedded with culture, history..."
Location of Mount Gilead, North Carolina
Location of Mount Gilead, North Carolina
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Montgomery
 • Total 3.3 sq mi (8.5 km2)
 • Land 3.3 sq mi (8.5 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 427 ft (130 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 1,181
 • Density 357.8/sq mi (138.9/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 27306
Area code(s) 910
FIPS code 37-44900
GNIS feature ID 1013735

Mount Gilead is a town in Montgomery County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 1,181 at the 2010 census.


Mount Gilead is located at 35°12′57″N 80°0′19″W / 35.21583°N 80.00528°W / 35.21583; -80.00528 (35.215793, -80.005252).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.3 square miles (8.5 km²), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 395
1910 723 83.0%
1920 975 34.9%
1930 1,011 3.7%
1940 915 −9.5%
1950 1,201 31.3%
1960 1,229 2.3%
1970 1,286 4.6%
1980 1,423 10.7%
1990 1,336 −6.1%
2000 1,389 4.0%
2010 1,181 −15.0%
Est. 2015 1,180 −0.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,389 people, 502 households, and 367 families residing in the town. The population density was 424.2 people per square mile (164.0/km²). There were 553 housing units at an average density of 168.9 per square mile (65.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 46.29% White, 50.04% African American, 0.50% Native American, 2.16% Asian, 0.29% from other races, and 0.72% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.58% of the population.

There were 502 households out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.8% were married couples living together, 20.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.7% were non-families. 25.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the town, the population was spread out with 26.6% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 25.3% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 18.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 80.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 74.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $31,250, and the median income for a family was $36,250. Males had a median income of $29,375 versus $21,750 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,236. About 15.6% of families and 18.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.5% of those under age 18 and 14.8% of those age 65 or over.


The Mount Gilead Downtown Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. The Town Creek Indian Mound was previously listed in 1966. The town was incorporated in 1899. Local resident Robert B. Jordan, III is a former Lt. Governor of N.C. Mayor Jimmy Haithcock was the longest serving mayor, having served 33 years and David Wilder served as a town commissioner for 40 years. Like many small southern towns, Mount Gilead suffered decline with the loss of textile jobs. However, the town is in the process of reinventing itself. Mount Gilead was recently selected to participate in the N.C. Small Town Main Street Program and received a S.T.E.P. (Small Town Economic Prosperity) grant of $220,000 to help revitalize the downtown area and create jobs, respectively. The Mount Gilead Museum is located in a restored Victorian house near the downtown area. The house belonged to the McAulay family who played an important role in Mount Gilead business, church, social, and civic life. The museum houses many documents, photographs, and historic artifacts that tell the story of Mount Gilead's past.

Mount Gilead is the birthplace of noted civil rights attorney Julius L. Chambers (b. 1936). A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (J.D., 1962), Chambers served as editor-in-chief of the school's Law Review and went on to earn his master of law degree from Columbia University in 1964. That summer he opened in Charlotte, NC, an office that would become the state's first integrated law practice. Chambers and his founding partners, James E. Ferguson, II and Adam Stein, working with lawyers of the Legal Defense Fund, successfully litigated civil rights cases and helped shape the contours of civil rights law by winning landmark United States Supreme Court rulings in such cases as Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, 402 U.S. 1 (1971), the famous school busing decision, and Griggs v. Duke Power Co. 401 U.S. 424, 91 S.Ct. 849, 28 L.Ed.2d 158 (1971) and Albemarle Paper Co. v. Moody, 422 U.S. 405 (1975), two of the Supreme Court's most significant Title VII employment discrimination decisions.


The Piedmont Center of the Arts and The Ford Place Restaurant, Pub & Special Events Center were two projects which were successfully created as a result of funds from the North Carolina Rural Center. The arts facility houses a wood-turner who gives lessons, the office of the Mount Gilead Arts Guild, a retail co-op store and a clock repair shop. The restaurant is a converted Ford dealership. Customers see much of the town's history preserved on the walls and under glass on the tables.

Mount Gilead has a number of accomplished visual and performing artists who routinely show their work at the arts complex.

The Mount Gilead Community Concerts Association (MGCCA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to presenting a program of diverse performing arts to the local area. Incorporated in 2001, the organization presents an annual Concert Series featuring visiting musicians and, when possible, these artists present a program for local school students. MGCCA is governed by a volunteer board of directors and supported through the contributions of local individuals and companies.

The Mount Gilead Community Choir has produced annual concerts since its founding in 1995. This group of volunteer singers traditionally presents a Christmas concert on the first Sunday in December at 3:00 p.m. The choir is supported in part by the Mount Gilead Community Concerts Association (MGCCA), and more information can be found of the organization's website.

Community Radio WMTG (88.1 FM) is a non-commercial, low-power station that serves the town by airing announcements of local interest. The station programs a mix of oldies and adult contemporary music and broadcasts 24 hours a day. WMTG is a service of the Mount Gilead Community Concerts Association (MGCCA).

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