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Wilkesboro Town

Wilkesboro Town Hall is located at 203 West Main Street, Wilkesboro, NC 28697; phone: 336-838-3951.

Beginnings [1]

Soon after Wilkes County was established in 1778, a central location on the south side of the Yadkin River was selected as the place for the county seat, to be called Wilkesborough (later shortened to Wilkesboro). In 1800 William Lenoir surveyed and laid out the town as a rectangle with a grid pattern of streets, thirty-six rectangular lots, and an open space near the center set aside for the courthouse. Although the town boundaries expanded during the twentieth century, particularly after mid-century, the original plan remains largely intact, and the historic district encompasses most of it.

Always a small town, Wilkesboro's primary role throughout its history has been as the county seat and center for the county's legal affairs. Throughout much of the nineteenth century, Wilkesboro also served as the county's commercial center. However, this changed with the arrival of the North Western North Carolina Railroad in 1890 and the rapid development of the town of North Wilkesboro at the railroad's terminus on the north side of the Yadkin River. Nevertheless, Wilkesboro maintained a small commercial center, needed for its own residents and for those who came to court.

  1. Laura A. W. Phillips, consultant, Town of Wilkesboro, Downtown Wilkesboro Historic District, Wilkes County, North Carolina, nomination document, 2008, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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