Small-town charm with easy access to urban experiences
(Established 1753; Population 139,933)
Rowan County is home to Salisbury, the seat of Rowan County, and ten other municipalities. Each one adds a unique flavor to the Rowan County community and is vibrant in history and tradition. Rowan County is in the heart of North Carolina’s Piedmont region and is approximately two hours from the state’s mountains and four hours from its beautiful Atlantic Ocean beaches. Rowan County is home to many of the state’s historic sites, including the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer and the N.C. Confederate Civil War Prison in Salisbury. Led by a progressive Board of Commissioners, Rowan County is quickly becoming a leader in the efforts
130 West Innes St.
Salisbury, NC 28144
China Grove, NC
(Incorporated 1889; Population 4,213)
China Grove was settled as early as 1710 and today is a business friendly community that still retains the warmth and charm of a small town. Its name derives from a very popular grove of china-berry trees located next to the old depot, which was dismantled in 1974.
In 2016 The Town of China Grove was honored to be ranked one of the 20 safest cities in the state of North Carolina according to SafeWise, a security systems company which ranked the top 100 safest cities in the state. With its location in southern Rowan County, near Kannapolis and Charlotte, China Grove is expected to see much economic growth in coming years.
Town of China Grove
205 Swink St.
China Grove, NC 28023
(Incorporated 1883; Population 878)
Cleveland, NC has evolved from Indian trails and buffalo wallows, from wagon roads to paved streets and highways, from mainly agriculture to a mixture of agriculture and industry.
Incorporated in 1883 as Third Creek Station and renamed Cleveland in 1887, this small town of approximately 900 is located in the western portion of Rowan County. The town goal is to preserve the home-town flavor without sacrificing quality living.
It is home to Daimler’s Freightliner manufacturing plant and its strategic location on rail and SR 70 halfway between Salisbury and Statesville, NC make it a candidate for strong economic growth in the future.
Town of Cleveland
302 East Main St.
P.O. Box 429
Cleveland, NC 27013
East Spencer, NC
(Incorporated 1901; Population 1,560)
The town of East Spencer is a family oriented community that is filled with history of the Southern Railway. Its original name was “Southern City” because of the significance of railway in the creation and development of the town. After the Spencer Shops opened in 1896, the little town grew quickly.
Town of East Spencer
105 South Long St.
P.O. Box 339
East Spencer, NC 28039
(Incorporated 1903; Population 800)
Tradition holds that John Thomas Wyatt, a newspaper columnist who settled on the rocky land five miles east of Salisbury, named the town. Wyatt opened a quarry there and since he had no experience in quarrying, said he was proceeding on “faith.” Faith incorporated in 1903 and is a small town located in the eastern part of the county. The town has gained a wide reputation for hosting one of the largest Fourth of July celebrations in the state.
Town of Faith
100 North Main St.
P.O. Box 37
Faith, NC 28041
Gold Hill, NC
(Unincorporated 1901; Population 3,036)
With its first gold discovery in 1824, Gold Hill is considered one of today’s most charming, historic small towns in North Carolina. Home to a quaint shopping village, a 70 acre park with beautiful scenery, it is quite easy to get lost in time as you discover all there is to see here.
Gold Hill offers everything from unique shopping opportunities in the restored gold mining town, to wine tours at an award winning vineyard and micro-brewery, hiking in the great outdoors, bluegrass music, gold history tours, antiques picking and more.
Gold Hill is also known for the Montgomery General Store Bluegrass Jam hosted every Friday evening year round as well as weddings, monthly events and seasonal festivals. Visit Gold Hill for a great family outing in one of the richest, most authentic, historic gold mining boom towns east of the Mississippi.
Granite Quarry, NC
(Incorporated 1901; Population 2,999)
Granite Quarry was once called “Woodside.” Due to the numerous quarrying operations in the area, the town’s name was changed to Granite Quarry in 1905. Granite Quarry is known worldwide for the unique “pink” granite that is mined from the ground. Granite Quarry is also home to the Old Stone House which was built by Michael Braun in 1766 and is known as the oldest German house in North Carolina.
Located just south of Salisbury, with great access to Interstate 85, Granite Quarry is a growing community. A new 250 unit housing development is planned and Rowan County’s latest industrial park is located here.
Town of Granite Quarry
143 North Salisbury Ave.
P.O. Box 351
Granite Quarry, N.C. 28072
(Incorporated: 1984, Population 47,839)
Kannapolis started as a “company town” run by Cannon Mills Co. The name started out as “Cannonopolis”. Today the city of Kannapolis, which straddles the Rowan County border with Cabarrus County, is better known worldwide as home of the North Carolina Research Campus The multi-million dollar laboratory complex is home to researchers from numerous universities and to the David H Murdock Core Laboratory. It’s a unique place where health, nutrition, science and education are becoming the business of the City and it offers a myriad of opportunities to practice healthy living with parks, walking and biking areas. Kannapolis is embarking on a major new downtown revitalization project and it continues to grow and draw new business investment to Rowan County and the region.
City of Kannapolis
401 Laureate Way
Kannapolis, NC 28081
(Incorporated 1901; Population 3,121)
Landis started out as a mill town. In 1900, Columbus A. Linn and his sons, locally prominent landowners, founded the Linn Mill. The following year the town was incorporated. The Linn Brothers Store became known as the “Busy Store” and the Landis Depot was built. These historic buildings, as well as the old post office and jail, still stand in the downtown area. Landis lies on the Interstate 85 corridor between the metropolitan cities of Greensboro (to the North) and Charlotte (to the South). Main thoroughfares through town include US Highway 29/601, US Highway 29-A, NC Highway 153 with easy access to Interstate 77. With its location in southern Rowan County, near Kannapolis and Charlotte, Landis is expected to see much economic growth in coming years.
Town of Landis
312 South Main St.
P.O. Box 8165
Landis, NC 28088
(Incorporated 1911; Population 2,144)
The Town of Rockwell, once known as the place where a thirsty traveler could stop at the “Rock Well” for a refreshing drink, still boasts of its good water from its eight wells. Early settlers were Germans who came here as early as 1740. Examples of their perseverance and craftsmanship are two early stone churches: Organ Lutheran Church and Grace Lower Stone Church.
Organ Lutheran Church for many years boasted that it housed the only church organ in North Carolina. Both of these circa 1745 churches have adjoining graveyards which have proven to be a treasure-trove of genealogical information.
Town of Rockwell
202 East Main St.
P.O. Box 506
Rockwell, NC 28138
(Incorporated 1755; Population 34,001)
Salisbury was named after the cathedral town in England. Salisbury was at the leading edge of the American frontier. As the largest city in western North Carolina in the 18th and early 19th centuries, Salisbury was the major center of trade and politics. The coming of the railroad in 1859 further boosted the town’s economy and stimulated industry.
Salisbury is the county seat of Rowan County and its largest city. Salisbury is the home to famed North Carolina soft drink, Cheerwine and Food Lion supermarkets. It is one of only two cities in North Carolina to have gigabit capacity through its municipally-owned broadband system, Fibrant.
Salisbury has developed a strong record of historic preservation over the last few decades. The city has many historic homes and commercial buildings dating from the 19th century and early 20th century, several of which are individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Salisbury community presents an area rich in cultural resources with tremendous citizen support and stewardship for arts and cultural development.
Salisbury is home to a vibrant downtown area that encompasses several blocks near the intersection of Innes Street and Main Street. It is also boasts a vibrant industrial sector and is a regional commercial and medical center.
Located on Interstate 85, 35 miles from Charlotte and Winston-Salem, Salisbury is in one days’ travel time to any major city on the east coast. It is the approximate halfway point between Washington, DC and Atlanta GA.
City of Salisbury
217 South Main St.
P.O. Box 479
Salisbury, NC 28145
(Incorporated 1905; Population 3,341)
The Town of Spencer, prides itself on maintaining a small town atmosphere, while offering the convenience of major cities such as Charlotte and Winston-Salem only 30 minutes away.
Spencer became the first “development of consequence” in Rowan County after the Southern Railway Company chose to locate a service yard centrally between Washington, DC and Atlanta.
The Spencer Shops continue to serve as a reminder to the town’s origin, now serving as the site of the North Carolina Transportation Museum. Those activities of preservation and renovation have spilled over into the community as well, bringing about a renewed sense of pride that has become a vital part of everyday life.
Town of Spencer
600 South Salisbury Ave.
P.O. Box 45
Spencer, NC 28159