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Spencer, North Carolina
Spencer, North Carolina 04.jpg
Location of Spencer, North Carolina
Location of Spencer, North Carolina
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Rowan
 • Total 3.07 sq mi (7.95 km2)
 • Land 3.07 sq mi (7.95 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
715 ft (218 m)
 • Total 3,267
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,061.60/sq mi (409.94/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 704
FIPS code 37-63760
GNIS feature ID 0995290

Spencer is a town in Rowan County, North Carolina, United States, incorporated in 1905. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 3,267.


The town was named for Samuel Spencer, first president of the Southern Railway, who is credited with establishment of the railroad's mechanical shops at the site in 1896. The site was approximately the midpoint of the railroad's mainline between Atlanta, GA and Washington, DC. As the shops were being built the Southern Railway developed a town, also named Spencer, alongside the shops for worker housing. Initially, the Southern partitioned 85 acres into 500 lots. Instead of creating a traditional "company" town in which the workers rented houses Southern sold the lots to workers or businesses for $100 apiece. The deeds did contain restrictive covenants which maintained that a dwelling costing in excess of $400 and approved by a Southern appointed architect be built within a year. The Southern donated lots for religious institutions. Southern also helped establish a YMCA in the town. The community grew quickly and by 1901 had 625 residents.

The former Spencer Shops were phased out during the 1950s through 1970s and have now become the location of the North Carolina Transportation Museum.

The Alexander Long House, Southern Railway's Spencer Shops, and Spencer Historic District are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Spencer is located at 35°41′37″N 80°25′55″W / 35.693672°N 80.431906°W / 35.693672; -80.431906.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.7 square miles (7.0 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 1,915
1920 2,510 31.1%
1930 3,128 24.6%
1940 3,072 −1.8%
1950 3,242 5.5%
1960 2,904 −10.4%
1970 3,075 5.9%
1980 2,938 −4.5%
1990 3,219 9.6%
2000 3,355 4.2%
2010 3,267 −2.6%
2019 (est.) 3,257 −0.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Spencer racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 1,686 50.97%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 1,065 32.19%
Native American 10 0.3%
Asian 22 0.67%
Pacific Islander 7 0.21%
Other/Mixed 175 5.29%
Hispanic or Latino 343 10.37%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 3,308 people, 1,153 households, and 807 families residing in the town.

Places of Education

  • North Rowan High School
  • North Rowan Middle School
  • North Rowan Elementary School


Spencer is mentioned in the song "The Wreck of Old 97" as the ultimate endpoint of a train trip which is never reached. The journey began in Monroe, VA.

Notable person

  • Gil Robinson (1910–1985), NFL player

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Spencer (Carolina del Norte) para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Legendary Hispanic musicians
Carlos Santana
Ricky Martin
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