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Ranlo is a small town in Gaston County, North Carolina, United States and a suburb of Charlotte, located north of Gastonia. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 3,434, up from 2,198 in 2000.
Ranlo is located at 35°17′25″N 81°8′1″W (35.290393, -81.133731).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.7 square miles (4.4 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, Ranlo and Smyre were incorporated as the Town of Ranlo, in reaction to the concern over possible annexation into Gastonia. However, the part of the Smyre mill village south of the Norfolk Southern Railway was not included, and was eventually annexed by Gastonia in June 1996.
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.