Sloan Park History
The vision of Sloan Park started in the early 1970s. James A. and Carrie Sloan were the last owners and operators of Kerr Mill, a grist mill built in 1823 by Dr. Samuel Kerr. After Mr. Sloan’s retirement the mill deteriorated but many offers were received to purchase the mill and use the bricks and timbers for other building projects. Mr. Sloan believed that there was a better use for this structure than demolition. Thanks to the foresightedness of Sloan Park’s namesake this valuable connection to our past has been preserved. Through Mr. Sloan’s efforts and the assistance of the Rowan County Historical Properties Commission and grants from the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, Kerr Mill was renovated and the Sloan Family gave the property to the citizens of Rowan County.
Kerr Mill Reopening
Kerr Mill was officially reopened in 1976 and was operated jointly by the Rowan County Historical Properties Commission and the Parks and Recreation Department. In early 1982 the Rowan County Parks and Recreation Department took over complete control of this historical facility and set out to create a park. Mr. Sloan’s original gift of the mill and the surrounding property (approximately 2.5 acres) was later augmented by the purchase of the property (55 acres) on the east side of Kerr Creek.
Grant monies from the Land and Water Conservation Fund and tax dollars from the citizens of Rowan County provided the necessary monies to start Sloan Park. The newly acquired property was purchased from Roy and Willie Morgan, whose family had lived on this land for several generations. In addition to the property, the Morgan family provided the funds to build the first picnic shelter that today bears their name - the Morgan shelter house.
Official Opening of Sloan Park
Sloan Park, so named in honor of James and Carrie Sloan, opened officially on Sunday, May 22, 1983. The park consisted of one shelter house, restrooms, a ball field, playground, and Kerr Mill. Over the next several years the facilities at Sloan Park increased, as did the total acreage. One by one, with the help of private donors, Sloan Park increased to 5 shelters and a total of 93 land acres.