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Wilkes County (1777)

Wilkes Couny was formed in 1777 from part of Surry County, and it has contributed to the culture of the state in many ways. The Tom Dula legend, MerleFest, and NASCAR all originated in this mountain county.

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Burke County (1777)

Named in honor of Dr. Thomas Burke, the county of Burke was organized by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1777. The “Western State Capital,” Burke is a western, mountain county that has the highest number of government employees (500) outside of Raleigh. The region is also well known for its numerous state parks, and the South and Blue Ridge Mountains that pass through the county.

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Buncombe County (1791)

Home to the city of Asheville and the Biltmore Estate, Buncombe County was founded in 1791, and it is named in honor of the Revolutionary Colonel Edward Buncombe. The county is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and its history and culture attractions are well-known.

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Watauga County (1849)

A western, mountain county, Watauga, a native word that means “beautiful river,” has a rich landscape of rivers, valleys, and peaks. The county was established in 1849, and it is named in honor of the Watauga Indian tribe. Watauga County is home to Appalachian State University, Tweetsie Railroad, and several cultural museums.

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Clay County (1861)

Nestled in the southwest corner of North Carolina and in the Appalachian Mountains, Clay County benefits from a bustling tourism industry centered on its landscape and historical landmarks.

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Alleghany County (1859)

Alleghany County, one of North Carolina’s most northern counties, is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Although it is the fifth smallest county in the state, Alleghany County has a rich heritage that is connected to the geography of the region.

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Henderson County

Henderson County’s boundary has changed considerably since its establishment in 1838, with the formation of Polk County and Transylvania County.  The location of its county seat, Hendersonville, sparked a raging political firestorm that pitted the Road Party against the River Party.

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Doughton, Robert L.

Robert L. Doughton (1863-1954) represented North Carolina’s ninth congressional district (centered in Alleghany and Ashe counties) from 1933 until 1953. Although he had a reputation as a fiscal conservative, Doughton was nonetheless an important ally of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal.

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Plott Hound: The State Dog

Known for its fearless hunting style and loyalty to owner, the Plott Hound was bred in North Carolina, and is one of four breeds originating in America. In 1989 the North Carolina General Assembly named the Plott Hound the official State Dog.