Stokes County (1789)

Written By North Carolina History Project


With Danbury as its county seat, Stokes County lies in the north Piedmont and adjacent to the Virginia border.  The county was named after a Revolutionary Patriot, Captain John Stokes.


According to a 2004 survey, approximately 46,000 people lived in Stokes County.  The county’s major towns include Danbury and King.  Before European settlers–mainly Scotch-Irish and Germans–arrived in what is now Stokes County, the Cheraw lived in the land.  The soil is fertile, and the Dan and Yadkin rivers flow through the county. 


Formed in 1789, the year the Fayetteville Convention ratified the U.S. Constitution, Stokes County was formed out of Surry County.  Along its northern border lies the state of Virginia.  The county’s western, southern, and eastern borders are Surry, Forsyth, and Rockingham counties respectively.  The first county seat was Germantown, and it remained so until Forsyth County was given that part of Stokes by the state legislature.  In 1851, Crawford then became the hub of county governmental activities.  In 1852, Crawford’s name was changed to Danbury. 


Stokes County has several historical and natural attractions.  Historical attractions include Historic Danbury, Moratock Iron Furnace, The Rock House, and Sheppard’s Mill.  A visit to Hanging Rock State Park will satisfy those more interested in the area’s natural beauty.  Although the park in 2011 has grown to approximately 7,000 acres, the Park was formed in 1936, when non-profits, Committee for Stokes County Hanging Rock and the Winston-Salem Foundation, donated 3,096 acres to the state of North Carolina.