Fast-growing east Lincoln County tries to preserve history before it’s gone

DENVER–Growing up on a farm in eastern Lincoln County, Betty Gwynn spent four hours a day riding a bus to and from an all-black high school in Lincolnton.

It was a long trip, but it gave her time to do homework and look out the window at a rural landscape where her family had tilled the soil for generations. She remembers seeing wheat blowing in the breeze and thinking how beautiful it was.

Three years ago, when Gwynn moved back to her home county from Michigan, where she worked as a family planning nurse practitioner, she found a much-changed landscape. Explosive growth on the west side of Lake Norman had transformed former farmlands into sprawling neighborhoods with big, expensive houses, and shops, restaurants and businesses seemed to pop up everywhere.

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(Charlotte Observer, 5/30/2016)