The Rowland Story

History

The Rowland Area Historical Society is active in efforts to preserve and restore all historical structures in and around town and has played an important role in the establishment of the Rowland Historic Central Business District. The society was also instrumental in obtaining National Register of Historic Places designation for the Rowland historic depot, and the nearby Ashpole Presbyterian Church.

Ashpole Presbyterian Church….

Rowland Historic Depot….

Rowland Historic Central Business District….

 

 

TOWN PROFILE

The Town of Rowland is a small town evolving from a rural farming community. We are a town of a thousand loving, smiling faces, and the culturally diverse residents socialize and connect at such events as the Annual Homecoming and Christmas Parades, the Spring Festival and summer downtown events.

Town Assets

First, due to the location of the town, Rowland serves as a route for people traveling to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, one of the fastest growing tourist sites in the country.  More than 6,000 people pass through Rowland daily en route to the coast.  Second, Rowland has some very quaint, quiet communities that serve as respites for retirees and empty nesters.  Third, Rowland’s population is tri-racial and opens the door for diversity to grow and flourish. Fourth, Rowland is the home of some physical assets that serve as the foundation of the beauty of the small town.

The town’s major landmark is the old train station, built in 1890 and renovated in 1925. In February 2001, the train station was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. A small museum containing local historical material and railroad artifacts is housed in the waiting room.

Rowland’s downtown, an intact example of an early twentieth century railroad town.  was designated a historically significant business district by the U.S. Department of the Interior, and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 2001,

In addition to the Rowland Depot and Ashpole Church, which are already on the National Register of Historic Places, Rowland has several other sites deserving of National Register or local historic district recognition. The newly renovated Chamber of Commerce Building, which once served as the first public library in all of Robneson County, is an example of a site of historical significance, and is the eastern anchor for the Historic Main Street  Business District.

Community Issues

The town is in great need of an economic and structural revitalization. The town is looking for ways to take advantage of its demand for new rental units, affordable home ownership, and market rate housing options; Rowland‘s housing stock currently consists of large early 20th century owner-occupied homes (many of which will be considered for historic designation in the near future), smaller owner-occupied homes of mid 1970’s and mid 1980’s construction, and both duplex and mobile home rental options. Rowland ‘s comprehensive redevelopment plan is seeking to substitute substandard and deteriorating housing with new rental housing options and affordable new home ownership opportunities clustered around the Town Center that is Rowland ‘s Historic Main Street  District.