Cleveland County, with a population of around 80,000, is located in the
western piedmont of North Carolina, bordering South Carolina.
Sixty miles west of Charlotte, the state's largest city, its biggest claim to
fame is Kings Mountain, the site of a battle of the American Revolutionary
War--and it shares that honor with Gaston
County. The county seat is Shelby, with a population of twenty thousand.
Other notable boroughs include Kings Mountain, Grover,
and Boiling Springs. Boiling Springs is
the home of Gardner Webb University, a regional Baptist college. The county
was reliant on textiles until that industry's continuing crash began in the
early Nineties, under George Bush. Now, it struggles under a very high
unemployment and poverty rate.