Quaint, Dieing (?) Village
"Another town deserted by Big Textile Manufacturers"
Most of my time on VT is spent reading and pondering far off exotic places, how to get there, and the wonders which I might experience while there. But, if you are like me, the fact is that most of our traveling is done relatively close to home and by car, bus, or train.
I went to the wrong place for a sales presentation today (Could that have been a deliberate accident?) and missed it. Since I was half way to Grover by the time that I decided that I had missed my opportunity to spend a lot of money that I really do not want to spend, I decided to visit this little town of less than 700 people which I had never heard of until a couple weeks ago when I read a letter regarding it in Our State, a North Carolina travel magazine. That I had never heard of it struck me as unusual because I have lived within 50 miles of it for most of my life and literally driven through it dozens of times when I was living in the SWern USA.
Grover's biggest claims to fame are (were) that it was home to Minette Mills, a fairly significant textile operation, Grover Industries, somehow related to the textile industry but I am not certain how, and that it couls also be considered a bedroom community for Kings Mountain and Shelby. (Perhaps a bit perversely, everyone that I met while in town actually lived in Shelby.)
Minette Mills has been shut down for several years now and within recent months, there have been two unexplained fires in the plant. Perhaps someone wants to clear the land.
Grover Industries still has a sales office in Grover, primarily because most of the corporate executives live in Grover or Shelby, but their only manufacturing plant is in Tryon, NC.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Grover, since it is very rural with almost no signs of economic life, is that I also saw very little indication of any significant agricultural effort in the area. That is why I referred to it as a possible bedroom community for Kings Mountain and Shelby, and possibly Gastonia.
"Why would I want to visit Grover?"
Your most likely reason for visiting Grover would probably be that you wanted to gas up before you got into the mess of Charlotte traffic heading northbound on I-85 or that you had just escaped the Charlotte traffic headed southbound. If you are a North Carolinian, it is also a good place to buy fireworks, since it is illegal to sell them in North Carolina and Grover is literally on the NC - SC border and can be accessed most easily from the northernmost exit of I-85 in South Carolina. There are a couple fireworks outlets on the SC side of the border.
These might not, however, be the best reasons for visiting Grover. The people would undoubtedly be the best reason. I did not get to meet all that many, but all that I did meet were very friendly and it is also one of the remaining towns where people wave at passing strangers from their porches, yards, or vehicles.