Alleghany County, North Carolina was founded in 1859 from land that was formerly considered Ashe County. Native Americans once used the land encompassed in the county but it was later settled by Scotch-Irish, English, and German pioneers late in the 1700s. Some say the name Alleghany comes from the name of an Indian tribe, others claim, the name is a corruption of the Delaware Indian name for the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers and is said to have meant 'a fine stream.'
Alleghany was also once known as 'the lost province', perhaps due to its limited accessibility by road in the past. It is bordered by the state of Virginia, Surry, Wilkes, and Ashe counties and is home to rolling hills and steep mountains. Alleghany is home to several mountains including Creek, Fender, Doughton, Little Grandfather, Bullhead, and Rich mountains.
The county historically had a large swath of virgin timber including white pine, spruce, oak, ash, locust, birch, beech, maple, and hickory. The virgin timber has since been cut but the good soil and abundant rain of the county encourages constant new growth. Alleghany county is able to boast that both the Blue Ridge Parkway and New River run within its boundaries. The New River is a national heritage site and one of the oldest rivers in the world.
The county is the newest of North Carolina's 100 counties. It was formed in 1911 from parts of Caldwell County,Mitchell County, and Watauga County. It was named for Waightstill Avery, a colonel in the American Revolutionary War and the first Attorney General of North Carolina (1777–1779). It is often noted for the large amount of Christmas trees that the county produces.
Burke County is located in western North Carolina, near Tennessee. It is bordered by seven North Carolina counties—Avery and Caldwell Counties to the north, McDowell County to the west, Rutherford, Cleveland, and Lincoln Counties to the south, and Catawba County to the east. The entirety of what would become Burke County was located in the Granville District, an area named for a British statesman who was granted control of the land by King George I in 1730. In 1777, Burke County was created out of the western portion of Rowan County. It was named for Dr. Thomas Burke, an Irish immigrant and a soldier in the American Revolution.
Burke County residents were largely unhappy with British rule, and so many served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War between 1776 and 1783. Most of the county's land lies in the Piedmont Plateau, an area that features wide valleys with scattered low mountains, while the rest of the county is in the Appalachian Mountain region. The Catawba River flows eastward through the county and divides it into halves. The Linville River, beginning at Grandfather Mountain in Avery County, flows southward to Linville Falls in Burke County.
Caldwell County, North Carolina was founded in 1841 and named for Dr. Joseph Caldwell, first president of the University of North Carolina. Ten years passed between forming Caldwell County and establishing the county seat in Lenoir. Lenoir, North Carolina was named after Maj. Gen. William Lenoir. During the Civil War, Caldwell County was largely for the Confederate States. Men joined the 26th North Carolina Troops – participated in the battle of Gettysburg and other famous battles of the Civil War.
The county was formed in 1849 from parts of Ashe, Caldwell, Wilkes, and Yancey counties. It was named for theWatauga River, whose name is said to be a Native American word, the meaning of which is in dispute among various histories with translations ranging from beautiful water, whispering waters, village of many springs, and river of islands, to name a few.
In 1861 part of Watauga County was combined with parts of Burke, Caldwell, McDowell, and Yancey counties to formMitchell County. In 1911, the county was reduced to roughly its current size when portions of it were combined with parts of Caldwell and Mitchell counties were combined to form Avery County.