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Steele Creek Community is located in southwest Mecklenburg County
and generally includes the area south of Charlotte-Douglas Airport
and west of Sugar Creek and
I-77. The industrial areas
along Westinghouse Boulevard separate the residential and
commercial areas of Upper Steele Creek from those of Lower
Steele Creek .
The community's area is
45.8 square miles. The area's Census 2000 population was 25,282,
but by 2010 the population had increased to 52,014 according to
2020 Census population of Steele Creek was 76,301, up 24,287
or 46.7% from 2010,
Most of the population (59,155 or 77.5%) was
within the Charlotte city limits, and 27.2 square miles, or
59.4%, was within the Charlotte city limits as of January 1,
on map for enlargement.
The Steele Creek Community is one with long heritage and history
in formation of our county and state. Most likely, Scotch-Irish
immigrants who came through Philadelphia and followed the wagon
roads south to a more temperate climate founded the community in
the late 1600's and early 1700's. Settlers found virgin forestland
inhabited by a large variety of wildlife.
Creek, the small stream from which the community gets its name,
rises from a spring on property near the intersection of Steele
Creek Road and Shopton Road and flows south and east into South
Carolina. Some historians attribute the name "Steele"
to a family living near the headwaters of the creek in early settlements.
However, no family with that name can be confirmed as living in
the area. We can trace land grants made by the King of England in
1751 to the Neely, McDowell, and Whiteside families living in Steele
Creek. Families with these names still live in the community.
the strong Scotch influence, Presbyterian Churches began to dot
the countryside. Steele Creek Presbyterian, founded in 1760 on Steele
Creek Road, was one of the historical first seven churches in the
county. Steele Creek provided two signers of the Mecklenburg Declaration
of Independence on May 20, 1775, a document that preceded by more
than one year the Declaration that we celebrate on July 4 each year.
Power 's predecessor, the Catawba Power Company, built the Catawba
Hydroelectric Station and its 668 acre lake in 1904. This was
the first generating station in the Duke system. The "New
Catawba" hydro station replaced this facility at the same
location in 1925. In 1960 the station and the lake it impounded was
renamed after W. Gill Wylie, one of the company's founders. These
facilities have created
electrical power and later, recreational opportunities for thousands.
Lake Wylie is the lowest in the chain of lakes along the Catawba River
in western Mecklenburg County. It has 325 miles of shoreline and
acres of surface water.
1940, the U.S. Government bought 2266 acres in Steele Creek to build
an ammunition assembly plant. It employed over 12,000 people at
one time. Renamed in 1946 to the U.S. Naval Ammunition Depot, the
depot was phased out in 1951 and later auctioned to private industry.
The area became known as "Arrowood," named for the dairy
that bordered on one side.
The population is decreasing in the northern fringes of Steele
Creek due to the airport buying out of properties in airport noise
corridors and for expansion. But elsewhere in Steele Creek,
development is booming.
Most residential and commercial development continues to be
concentrated along the S Tryon Street corridor, but several large
new residential communities are being developed in the western
fringes of Steele Creek. As the area has matured, more housing and
retail choices are becoming available.
Upper Steele Creek is home to the new Berewick neighborhood and the
mixed-use Ayrsley development. Businesses in the Whitehall area
along S Tryon Street offer residents a variety of choices for
shopping and dining.
In Lower Steele Creek, the intersection of Highways 49 and 160 (S
Tryon Street and Steele Creek Road) has seen major new development
and is considered by many residents as their "Town Center." New
stores continue to open in the RiverGate Center. The new Palisades and Sanctuary
developments continue to receive recognition for their environmental