Wilkes County, North Carolina

Wilkesboro and North Wilkesboro

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Wilkes County, North Carolina

Wilkes County is the home of Merlefest, Wilkes Community College, and even Zack Galifianakis!

Wilkesboro is the county seat of Wilkes County. A Moravian surveying party passed through the area in 1752, and documented that a Cherokee Indian village stood in the old fields. The Cherokee translation for Mulberry Fields is Keowee. Keowee was often used by the Cherokees as a place name during the Colonial Period.

The act establishing Wilkes County stated that the first court would be held at the home of John Brown located at the bend of the Yadkin River on the second day of March 1778. Commissioners were named to select a place centrally located for the erection of a courthouse, prison and stocks. On June 2, 1778, Mulberry Field Meeting House was chosen to serve as the courthouse.

During the Revolutionary War, the Mulberry Fields area was a common mustering site for the Wilkes County Militia. The Mulberry Meeting House was a common meeting place to discuss local government issues of the day.

In 1795 an act was passed naming new commissioners to purchase fifty acres of land on which to lay out a town and erect public buildings. Mulberry Fields became Wilkesboro in 1800 when the town was laid out by William Lenoir. Lenoir refused to allow the town to be named after himself. Later, following his death, the next town up the road was named for Lenoir.

Wilkes County has a rich and varied history involving the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. You may select a topic of interest below to take our Virtual History Tour, and view all of our current historical information. Be sure to check back often for updates.

1940 Flood

Admiral Percy Foote (WWI)

Chang & Eng (original Siamese twins)

Christopher Gist

Tom Dula (Dooley)

Fort Hamby (Civil War)

General James B. Gordon (Civil War)

Judge Johnson Jay Hayes

Kennedy Pottery

Kerr Scott Dam & Reservoir

Mulberry Fields

Old Wilkes County Courthouse

Old Wilkes Jail

OVTA (Overmountain Victory Trail Association)

Robert Cleveland House (Oldest House)

Smithey's Hotel and Store

Stoneman's Raid

The Flume

Tory Oak (Revoluntionary War)

Whippoorwill Academy and Village

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