New Member Spotlight: The Town of China Grove

Charm, hospitality and vibrancy. These are the words that spring to mind when anyone takes the time to venture through the heart of China Grove, North Carolina. Located in Rowan County, between the Town of Landis and the City of Salisbury, the Town of China Grove had its first settlement as early as 1710 and was referred to as Savits Mill and Lutherville before becoming China Grove, named after the grove of chinaberry trees located next to the community’s train depot. As the first community in North Carolina to participate in the experimental Rural Free Delivery system, created in 1896, China Grove helped pave the way for rural communities across the United States to experience a better postal system. You could say that China Grove has firm roots to its past!

The Town of China Grove is compact, its territory covering a total of two square miles and with 4,400 residents within its community. But don’t let the size fool you. China Grove has a host of excellent amenities and services, boasting multiple community organizations, like the China Grove Farmers Market, Civitan International and the local Masonic Lodge, and events co-hosted by the Town, such as the Cruisin’ the Grove event that celebrates and cherishes vintage rides of all sorts, a dedicated night of trick-or-treating in downtown and an annual lighting of the Christmas tree right on Main Street. Lastly, the Town of China Grove hosts the famous Rowan Museum, an institution that educates visitors on the many lived experiences of the people of Rowan County and the surrounding Piedmont area.

In terms of great bites and eats, the China Grove Family House Restaurant is lauded as one of the best eating establishments in the entire county. If you’re staying for longer than just breakfast, take the time to stop at The Stag & Doe Restaurant & Tavern, Gary’s Barbecue or China Grove’s very own local brewery, the Grove Cartel Brewing Co.

Two defining factors for the community include the downtown and the community’s motto, “Come Grow with Us.” When asked what he felt made this community special, China Grove’s Town Manager Franklin Gover III stated that “you can feel the entrepreneurial spirit” of China Grove when you walk through its downtown. This stroll through Main Street ensures that “you are guaranteed to see a friend or neighbor” on your way to the variety of shops, restaurants and the brewery. Mr. Gover commented that the key to China Grove retaining its small-town sense of community was the tight integration of churches, non-profit and civic organizations that have grown with each other to meet the needs and aspirations of its growing community. Mr. Gover also highlighted that generations of children from across Rowan County have come to China Grove to play baseball, with its youth sports program operating a popular youth baseball league program with two seasons a year, ensuring that many families and youth have treasured memories.

Centralina Regional Council is honored to call China Grove our newest member and will be here to provide technical assistance and serve as a resource as they grow. We look forward to our partnership!

Photo curtesy of Visit Rowan