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
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.