Whether you were in attendance or not at the amazing fireworks display and evening activities for the City of Claremont 125th Anniversary Grand Celebration, you should take some time to read this speech done be Mayor Shawn R. Brown. We are proud to be from Claremont!
"Good evening, I am Shawn Brown the Mayor of the City of Claremont, and I am extremely honored and privileged to speak to you on this momentous occasion in the history of the City of Claremont. We are here to celebrate the 125th anniversary of our great City and I would like to take a moment to give you a brief history of how Claremont came to be.
Settlers came to the part of Catawba County known now as Claremont in the early 1800s. It has been reported that the land sold for fifty cents an acre. The area became a settlement in 1801.
The Settlement was first called "Charlotte Crossing". The Federal Post Office Department did not approve of the similarity with the Town of Charlotte, so the villages’ name was shortened to just "Crossing". Some people called the village "Setzer’s Depot." The Southern Railroad urged the people of the village to give their village a name.
The men agreed and took the name of "Clare" and added, "mount" to it. The "mount" was added because the village, from the old Catawba Roadside, looked high as a mountain. On August 8, 1892, the town was officially called Claremont and listed this way by the United States Post Office Department and also by Southern Railroad. In the late 1970’s Claremont modified the original charter to then be known as a “City” and the elected officials became known as City Councilmen, as everything is still known to this day.
Today, Claremont is a highly diverse community with three public parks, a wide variety of housing opportunities, retail and office buildings and a multinational industrial park. The City has one interchange on Interstate 40 and is transected by US Highway 70, and a main branch of Norfolk Southern rail line giving the city multiple transportation outlets.
The corporate limits of Claremont currently encompass 2.6 square miles with a total planning jurisdiction of 6.8 square miles. Recent population data estimate our current population around 1500 people and there is an expectation the upcoming 2020 Federal census will confirm that number.
So, now that we have learned a little about how our city came to be, let’s think about the people and families that were part of that initial Village. Family names such as Setzer, Carpenter, Sigmon, and Hoke are woven into the fabric of Claremont along with the names of many of you out here today. The first Mayor of Claremont, J.D. Kelley and the first Board of Aldermen as they were known back then, William Hoke, Jonas T. Sigmon and John W. Setzer. And now fast forwarding to your City Council today with me as your Mayor, Dale Sherrill Mayor ProTem, Councilmen Les Morrow, Lee Miller, David Morrow and Dayne Miller.
As I have the opportunity to travel around this County, State and Nation I tell people about where I’m from and all the great things about Claremont. I can assure you there are people in states far from North Carolina that know about Claremont and know at least a little bit about who and where we are. With great confidence, I can assure you the City Council members feel the exact same way I do and they are equally as proud to describe to anyone about where we’re from.
As the elected officials of this great City, it is foremost our duty to serve you the citizens, along with promoting our City any chance we get. Whether it be to a City Councilman from another state, a prospective industry representative looking to move a multi-million dollar corporation to Claremont or a citizen of Catawba County, we love telling our story, as you should too.
In closing, and looking towards the future, I ask you to think about what the City of Claremont will look like at the 150th anniversary in the year 2043. For those of you that were here for the 100th anniversary, does this live up to your vision of 25 years ago?
My view is that Claremont is a vibrant and diverse city with a bright future, and I trust you all will agree with me. We are working on large projects related to infrastructure, City Department building expansions and City Staff additions among many other things that will carry the City forward for the next 50 or more years. The decisions made today truly will affect the lives of our children, grandchildren and beyond. It is a huge responsibility that all of us as City Leaders take very seriously as we serve the City of Claremont!"