Madison County (1851)

Madison County was established in 1851 out of land from Buncombe and Yancey Counties.  Named after President James Madison, Madison County is located in the North Carolina’s Mountain region in between Buncombe, Yancey, and Haywood Counties, and North Carolina’s border with Tennessee. The first court was held at Adolphus Beard’s tavern until a courthouse was erected.  When its location was chosen, the town of Marshall was also established on the spot.

Marshall, N.C., named after Chief Justice John Marshall, remains Madison’s county seat.  Other important locations include Mars Hill College, a historical Baptist college established in 1856, and Hot Springs, a popular hot springs tourist attraction located at the junction of the Appalachian Trail and the French Broad River.  As of 2010, Madison County was the home of about 21,000 people.

The Cherokee originally inhabited the area. Later, Scottish and Irish immigrants arrived, and as a result, rich, Scotch-Irish folklore and customs developed.  The mountains in Madison County are also a popular destination for outdoor recreational activities, including skiing, hiking, mountain biking, and the French Broad River is used for fishing, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, and whitewater rafting.  Madison’s economy also relies on agriculture. The County produces tobacco, corn, diary products, livestock, and Christmas Trees.

Sources

Robert Blair Vocci, “Madison County” in Encyclopedia of North Carolina, edited by William S. Powell (University of North Carolina Press: Chapel Hill, 2006) 708.

David Leroy Corbitt, The Formation of the North Carolina Counties 1663-1943, (State Department of Archives and History: Raleigh, 1969), 144.

William S. Powell, The North Carolina Gazetteer: A dictionary of Tar Heel Places, (University of North Carolina Press: Chapel Hill, 1968) 309.

Madison County, “Local Government,” http://www.madisoncountync.org/-localgov.html accessed January 2, 2014.

Madison County Economic Development Board, “Jewel of the Blue Ridge,” http://www.madisoncountync.org/-Development.html accessed January 2, 2014.

“Madison County, North Carolina,” United States Census Bureau, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/37/37115.html accessed January 2, 2014.

Robert Blair Vocci, “Madison County” in Encyclopedia of North Carolina, edited by William S. Powell (University of North Carolina Press: Chapel Hill, 2006) 708.