Welcome to China Grove
- Population: 4,456 (as of July 1, 2021)
- Number of Households: 1,900
- Average Household Income: $41,707 (2015 Census)
- China Grove Property Tax $.56
- Sales Tax (County & State) 7%
China Grove's name derives from a grove of chinaberry trees that was located next to the old train depot. The China Grove depot which was dismantled in 1974, was located on Harris Street just behind Hanna Park. The grove provided welcomed shade for travelers and horses, especially during those hot summer days. Until about 1920 there were remnants of this grove, but the few surviving trees died from the traffic that was created by the old depot. The Town applied to the North Carolina Legislature for a charter, which was granted on March 11, 1889. It is assumed there was a settlement here in China Grove as early as 1710. The Town was first known as Savits Mill. Then, in 1846, the name was changed to Lutherville, but in 1849, it was given the name as we know it now, China Grove.
First Rural Free Delivery in North Carolina
In 1896 following the initiatives of William L. Wilson, Postmaster General of the United States, North Carolina developed a Rural Free Delivery (RFD) route for mail. Postal service via RFD included the delivery of all postal items, free of charge, to citizens at their homes, eliminating the need to visit the local post office. Following Mr. Wilson’s proposal and under the direction of Postmaster, J. Bruner Goodnight, China Grove established the first Rural Free Delivery route in North Carolina on October 23, 1896. It was only the second RFD made in the United States. A routine task today, in 1896 Mr. Goodnight was taking part in an experiment which would launch the postal service on the biggest endeavor in its history and help change the life of rural America.