North Rowan: Full of Surprises!

by | Jan 11, 2023 | Attractions

When I began to investigate writing about North Rowan, I wondered how much I’d be able to write about.  Boy was I in for a surprise!

Town of Spencer

When you think of North Rowan you may instinctually think of the Town of Spencer.    This last year the Town of Spencer has really taken the bull by the horns.  The town is planning to open a new park in the parking lot in front of the town hall soon along with development in the current property.  Also, if you were lucky enough to have spent early December in Spencer for the last two years, you were able to enjoy Winterfest!  This year it was even bigger than before.   Be sure to mark your calendars for next December when you can ice skate, shop for Christmas goodies in the German Market set up with vendors, and enjoy food and beverages.

While you are there you should make sure to attend the Polar Express across the street at the North Carolina Transportation Museum.  Tickets for this event go on sale in the summer so be sure to look ahead so you can combine the events and enjoy both!

Recently a fellow Your Rowan blogger wrote about the municipality of Spencer.  Here is the link for you to enjoy as well.  Spencer: Rowan’s Original Gateway – Live Original (yourrowan.com)

Interesting Facts

I recently spent some time with a lifelong resident, Meredith Sedberry Eller. She shared a few facts with me that were intriguing.

Most of us here in Rowan County are aware of Stanback Headache Powders, but did you know that Dr. Tom Stanback developed the powder in 1911 and opened a drug store in town?  His primary customers at the time were the rail workers and their employees. As the rail workers would travel from town to town, they began to share the news about Stanback Powders.  Before you knew it the word had spread so much that in 1931 Stanback Medicine Company opened a plant in Salisbury, North Carolina.  The Stanback family was involved in the company and as many of us know they went ahead and became great contributors to our county.  In 1999, Stanback was sold to Block Drug Company. Block promised to remain in Salisbury for an agreed-upon period of five years after the sale, however, they soon moved the business.  Still to this day “Snap Back with Stanback” rings true.

Ever heard of Wilbert Harrison??  Wilbert Harrison was born in January 1929 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  He was well known for his hit songs “Kansas City” and “Let’s Work Together”.   In later years Wilbert Harrison resided in Spencer at a local nursing home until a stroke in 1994 at which time he sadly died.

A famous historical artist, close to Meredith’s heart is her mother, Betty Sedberry.  Betty is in her 50th year of drawing and was first published in 1972.  Her love of art also is blooming and alive in her soon-to-be wedded granddaughter, Casey Eller.  That apple didn’t fall far from the tree at all!

Meredith shared with me some facts that I didn’t know such as Spencer having a movie theater and a skating rink.  WHAT??  Also, the library was at one time Spencer School, and they were called the Spencer Railroaders.  My understanding is that at one point if you went upstairs to the library that it was as if time had stood still with all the school desks sitting up there. Pencils are in place and things are written on the chalkboard. According to her, “It was like they walked out one day and left everything right where it was.”

North Carolina Transportation Museum

I have had many opportunities over the years to share information about the transportation museum and all the wonderful events that they host.  I was just recently again a cast member in the 2022 Polar Express just like last year.  It is a lot of work, but an equal amount of fun as well.  Enjoy a couple of blogs here about them.  The Polar Express: A Look from the Inside – Live Original (yourrowan.com) and Past, Present, Future: Celebrating 45 Years: North Carolina Transportation Museum – Live Original (yourrowan.com).

Town of East Spencer

As you drive over the railroad tracks you will find the Town of East Spencer.  East Spencer’s Mayor, Barbara Mallett and I go way back.  Probably further than either of us would like to remember.  One thing always rang true with Barbara and that was her love for her town.  Obviously, the citizens agree by re-electing her multiple times.  The town is growing and involving citizens as it goes.  Such as the grand opening of the Giants Ball Park with a splash pad and plans to expand down the road. 

Each year the town has a Community Day where you can find food vendors, live music, and other vendors that may be of interest to the community. 

Another great thing that they do is post newsletters for the citizens so they can stay up to date on events that are happening in the town such as “Meet the Manager” on Wednesday, January 11 at 6:00 p.m. and the MLK Events happening in the community.

A great little town that is growing and on the move.

Trail Head at the Yadkin River

Another greatly anticipated project will join the Wil-Cox Bridge from the Davidson County side to the Rowan County side.  Most of us can remember the North Carolina Finishing Company.  It’s great to know that where it was standing will be the site of future parking and a trail area will connect the Fred and Alice Stanback Educational Forest and Nature Preserve to the Wil-Cox Bridge.  I wrote about this great little hidden gem of a park before.  Here is the blog about The Little Park That Could – Live Original (yourrowan.com).  When this trail is complete it will be a great addition to North Rowan and should attract many people to the area for exercise and exploration. 

North Rowan along with the great schools, community involvement, and ongoing development should be a place to consider if you are looking for a place to relocate.  Easy access to the interstate with growing development around I-85 and proximity to High Rock Lake make the northern part of our county a definite consideration.  Take time to explore North Rowan and see what you have been missing!

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About The Author

Janet Ruffin

I’m an adventurous soul that loves to interact with people everywhere I go. You might say I’ve never met a stranger! I look forward to discovering and sharing all the things Rowan County has to offer because it’s Your Rowan!