ROWAN COUNTY was first settled by Scotch-Irish who originally lived in Lancaster County, PA and moved 435 miles down the "Great Wagon Road" to Trading Ford on the Yadkin River.
The Colonial Records of North Carolina reveal the first inhabitants of the region now comprising Rowan County as Alexander Cathey and John Brandon, both Justices of the Peace for Anson County in 1749, and the Locke and Nesbitt families. They arrived before 1749 and lived near what is now the Prison Camp on old Highway 29. The Germans from the Palatinate District on the Rhine River migrated to Pennsylvania in the 1740s and 20 years later followed their Scotch-Irish neighbors to Rowan County. They settled primarily along Dutch, Second, and Buffalo Creek in the eastern part of Rowan. As the upper region of Anson County (est. 1749) became settled, the Colonial Assembly, assenting to the requests of these pioneers, established the County of Rowan and the Parish of Saint Luke on April 12, 1753. At this time, Rowan County included all the territory north to Virginia, east to what is today Guilford County, and west to the mountains. Later, 26 counties were cut out of Rowan. The county was named for Matthew Rowan, acting governor of the colony in 1753.
Salisbury, the county seat of Rowan County, is located in the heart of the beautiful Piedmont area, the industrial heart of North Carolina. 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.
For more information on the City of Salisbury, Please visit the City of Salisbury official website.