McLean is a community rich with legacies that are a part of the community’s charm including two historic McLean houses standing on the property, one that dates back to the 1850s and listed on the Gaston County Historic Registry. The restored John Davidson McLean house, named for one of the region’s first physicians, serves as McLean’s information center and will soon house the Seven Oaks Cafe, as well.
Locals recall this home being the site of the The Plantation House antiques store operated from the 1970s to early 1990s. The Plantation House was owned by Daniel Stowe, a textile magnate who acquired what was known as Seven Oaks after World War II.
Stowe blessed McLean with cherry trees flanking the walk to his former homestead and three fishing ponds created beside the lake. He also donated the land for Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden and was the driving force behind fulfillment of a vision for a nationally renown garden for the Charlotte region. In addition to all of his other work, Daniel Stowe also tilled the land here growing crops. In this spirit, McLean will be adding community gardens on a 6-acre plot of land adjacent to the John Davidson McLean home.
Lake Wylie, too, honors a leader who reshaped this region. A century ago, Dr. Jake Wylie and his partners built the dam and hydroelectric plant that powered our region’s many textile mills and transformed this stretch of the Catawba from river to lake.