Rowan County lay along the route of the east-west Trading Path, an ancient roadway running from Fort Henry, Virginia (near present-day Petersburg), to the Indian settlements in South Carolina and Georgia. This early channel of commerce crossed the north-south Great Wagon Road at Trading Ford, a Rowan County community lying just east of the Yadkin River. This...helped to establish it as western North Carolina’s first center of trade, transportation, and political awareness.
The village of Salisbury grew from 7 or 8 log Houses in 1755 to "at least thirty-five homes, inns, or shops" in 1762. During the latter year, according to one historian, at least fifteen of Salisbury's inhabitants were tradesmen. There was a candle-maker, a doctor, two lawyers, a potter, three hatters, an Indian trader, a weaver, a tailor, a tanner, a butcher, two merchants, and a wagonmaker. Sixteen inns were licensed in Salisbury by the end of 1762.¹
¹ Salisbury Historic District
Davie, Davidson, Stanly, Cabarrus and Iredell counties.