Ranlo, North Carolina

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Ranlo is a town in Gaston County, North Carolina, United States and a suburb of both Charlotte and Gastonia. As of the 2000 census, the town population was 2,198.



Ranlo is located at 35°17′25″N 81°8′1″W / 35.29028°N 81.13361°W / 35.29028; -81.13361 (35.290393, -81.133731)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.5 km²), all of it land.


Ranlo was named for John Calvin Rankin and William Thomas Love, two prominent area industrialists - "Ranlo" was a contraction of RANkin and LOve. The community grew up around their textile mills which produced cotton goods. Rex Spinning Company was begun in 1915, Ranlo Manufacturing Company in 1916, and Priscilla Spinning Company in 1921. Nearby, the community of Smyre was developed around the A. M. Smyre Manufacturing Company, which was founded in 1917. In 1963, the two communities of Ranlo and Smyre were incorporated as Ranlo, in reaction to the concern over possible annexation into Gastonia[4]. However, the part of the Smyre mill village south of the Norfolk Southern Railway was not included, and was eventually annexed by the City of Gastonia in June 1996[5].

Row houses were erected in the 1920s and 1930s and still stand today. At the time they were owned by the mill and rented at very low rates to workers. They have long since been sold to individuals and the mills are 75-80% closed. Only one or two still operate and they are at low capacity. The town, however, has become a "bedroom community" and prides itself on its facilities and growth. New industry has started to move in and new neighborhoods are being built.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 2,198 people, 857 households, and 642 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,598.5 people per square mile (619.5/km²). There were 917 housing units at an average density of 666.9/sq mi (258.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 91.86% White, 6.10% African American, 0.32% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.27% Pacific Islander, 0.14% from other races, and 0.96% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.55% of the population.

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