Madison County is located in North Carolina’s mountains along the Tennessee border. It was formed in 1851 out of Buncombe and Yancey Counties, and was named for President James Madison. Marshall, the county seat, was incorporated in 1863.
Wayne County was formed from Dobbs County in 1779 in North Carolina’s Coastal Plain. Wayne County is named after “Mad Anthony” Wayne, one of George Washington’s most trusted generals. Goldsboro is the county seat, and Wayne is also home to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. Wayne is also the home of numerous cultural institutions and events.
As the oldest courthouse in North Carolina, the historic Chowan County Courthouse was constructed in 1767 in Edenton. Joseph Hewes, Samuel Johnston, and other important North Carolina Patriots used the courthouse during the 1770s and 1780s. With the Cupola and Barker House, the Chowan County Courthouse remains an important historical structure and popular attraction in Edenton. Today, the courthouse is the oldest government building in use in the state.
Home to the prominent crafts school, the Penland School of Crafts, Mitchell County holds an important place in North Carolina mountain culture. The county was established in 1861, and its county seat is Bakersville. Mitchell County has long remained a source of over fifty precious metals and other minerals.
Columbus County, named in honor of the famed Christopher Columbus, was established in 1808, and its seat of government, Whiteville, was formed in 1832. The Waccamaw tribe inhabited the early region before European settlement. Some important natural attractions and features of the region are Lake Waccamaw, Green Swamp, and the North Carolina Museum of Forestry.
A western mountain county, Jackson is known for its interesting natural and physical characteristics, particularly the Great Smoky Mountains, the Tuskasegee River, and the Nantahala National Forest. Formed in 1851, Jackson’s county seat is the town of Sylva, and other communities include Cashiers, Glenville, and Balsam.
Formed in 1855, Wilson County was once home to the Tuscarora Indians. The county did not experience great growth until the arrival of the Wilmington and Raleigh Railroad in the late 1830s. During most of the 20th century, the county was known as "the world’s greatest tobaccomarket." Its county seat is also called Wilson.
A thriving Indian settlement existed in Warren County before the arrival of English immigrants. Established in 1779, the county served as an important agriculture and political center for eastern North Carolina. Nathaniel Macon, James Turner, and William Miller were all native sons of Warren County, and the county seat is Warrenton.
Wake County was formed in 1771, and its county seat is Raleigh (also the capital city of North Carolina). Named after Governor Tryon’s wife, Margaret Wake Tryon, Wake County is home to the State Capitol building, the North Carolina State Fairgrounds, and several colleges and universities. Several important political leaders were born in Wake County, including the seventeenth president Andrew Johnson (1808-1875).
Founded in 1753, Rowan County became an important political and economic center for western North Carolina during the 1800s. Salisbury, the county seat, housed the only Confederate prison in North Carolina during the Civil War, and the Gold Hill community once served as a vital mineral source during North Carolina’s gold rush. Catawba College is located in Rowan, and many famous North Carolinians were born in the county.