Rowan County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of 2010, the population was 138,428. Its county seat is Salisbury.
The first Europeans to enter what is now Rowan County came with the Spanish expedition of Juan Pardo in 1567. They established a fort and a mission in the native village of Guatari, believed to be located near the Yadkin River and inhabited by the Wateree. At the time, the area was ruled by a female chief the Spaniards called Guatari Mico. The Spaniards called the village Salamanca in honor of the city of Salamanca in western Spain, and established a mission, headed by a secular priest named Sebastián Montero. The Spaniards abandoned the area at some point before 1572
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 524 square miles (1,360 km2), of which, 511 square miles (1,320 km2) of it is land and 13 square miles (34 km2) of it (2.40%) is water.
The county’s eastern border is formed by the Yadkin River. North of Ellis Crossroads, the South Yadkin River meets the Yadkin. The South Yadkin forms the county’s northern border, with Davie County.
The southern border is an east-west line that bisects the city of Kannapolis.