History & Genealogy
Rowan Public Library's Edith M. Clark History Room concentrates primarily on Western North Carolina genealogy and history including all areas of old Rowan County. Our holdings include over 19,000 books, 5700 microforms, 268 manuscript collections, dozens of genealogical journals as well as a solid collection of civil war and civil war prison materials. Genealogy materials include abstracts, indices, and guides to primary source material used by genealogists as well as popular online databases--Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest. Local and regional oral histories, films, and maps also supplement the collection.
The Genealogical Society of Rowan County was organized in February of 1987, and we received our charter in 1988. Membership is open to all who are interested in genealogical or historical research.
Workshops are held throughout the year.
In 1954, the research papers of Mrs. Mary Louisa Gaskill "Mamie" McCubbins, were acquired by the Rowan Public Library. Over the years, the McCubbins files have proved invaluable in genealogical researching. In 2005, Jo White Linn, a well known genealogical researcher passed away and at her death left her research to the History Room as well. Other generous researchers and staff have also accumulated additional information about the history of the families of Rowan County as well as history concerning buildings, houses, time periods and important people of Rowan. These files are collectively referred to as "The McCubbins Files."
The History Room staff is able to investigate specific research requests, but is limited as to the amount of time spent on each request. We are unable to do extensive or intensive research. Please email or call us with your question and we will be happy to explain what information we might have within our collection. Call 704-216-8253 or 704-216-8232.
The Salisbury Confederate prison came into being in 1861, and following the first battle of Bull Run at Manassas, Union prisoners of war streamed into Salisbury. Joining the POWs were Southern political prisoners and conscientious objectors, as well as Confederate and Federal deserters. Originally a cotton mill and, for a short time, a boys academy, the prison grounds had held a meat packing plant for the Confederate Army. It was also the site of the general muster ground, where local boys joined the Southern Army.
Gretchen B. Witt, History Room Librarian
Anne Morgan, History Room Associate
Rowan Public Library
201 W. Fisher Street
Salisbury, NC 28144
704-216-8253 History Room