Granite Falls is city just to the northwest of area hub of Hickory whose borders are only a few miles apart. Granite Falls is named for a group of granite boulders spanning across gunpowder creek which led to a natural waterfall. Granite Falls is home to about 4,500 residents and is probably most famous these days for being the hometown of Country Music Musician Eric Church. Eric grew up in Granite Falls and attended high school at the local South Caldwell High School. Eric still returns to his North Carolina Roots and has actually given several free concerts on the grounds of his old high school. Long before Eric Church and its new found star on the map the town rose from humble beginnings. The area was originally inhabited by the Catawba Indians but perhaps the first European American and Pioneer to set foot in the area was Andrew Baird. He was so mesmerized by the beauty and power of the falls that he decided to set up an iron works operation along the banks of the stream in 1791. From that point the area grew slowly and was finally incorporated into a town in 1899. That same attraction to water still draws people to the Granite Falls area as now the town sits just to the North of both Lakes Hickory and Rhodhiss. The town of Granite Falls actually operates a city park and boat launch on lake Rhodhiss withing walking distance of downtown and just a few miles from the Original Granite falls landmark which got the whole thing started. Today Granite Falls continues to grow thanks in large part to a great highway system. Hwy 321 runs just to the east of town and this north to south route provides great access to the mountains as well as Hickory and Charlotte.