From Karen Campbell with the Boston Globe:
The reigning family in tiny Belmont, N.C., 15 miles west of Charlotte, are the Stowes. Jasper Stowe opened the county’s first cotton mill in 1863, and after the turn of the century, his family and others opened additional mills, helping develop the town as a textile center nicknamed “City of Diversified Textiles.”
Then the textile industry moved overseas, and most of the mills in the area were torn down or converted. So Daniel J. Stowe, a retired textile executive, decided to craft a very different kind of legacy in his quaint Southern town. He reserved 380 acres of rolling meadows and woodlands abutting Lake Wylie for a first-class botanical complex, and since 1999, the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden has become an enticing destination for visitors. It’s only a 25-minute drive from Charlotte’s bustling airport, but with its year-round variety of special exhibits, events, classes, and programming, it feels a world away.