Historic Sites and Places of Interest
Yadkin County, North Carolina
Formation of Yadkin County - At one time Yadkin
County was part of Anson
County. When Rowan
County was formed, the present-day Yadkin
County was a part of it. In 1770, with the formation of Surry
County, Yadkin was part of Surry. The present Yadkin
County, North Carolina, was
created by an act of the North Carolina Legislature in 1850 out of that portion
of Surry County
that lay south of the Yadkin River. Yadkin
County is situated in the Piedmont
Section of North Carolina, just east of the Blue Ridge Mountains. To the northwest is Pilot
Mountain, now a state park, and the
Saurtown Mountains. The county is bordered on the north by the Yadkin
River and Surry
County, on the east by the river
and Forsyth County,
on the west by Wilkes County,
and on the south by Davie and
Towns and Communities - Yadkin County retains its rural atmosphere even in its towns and
communities. The towns are: Boonville, East Bend, Jonesville, and Yadkinville.
There are many small communities populated by residents who commute to Winston-Salem daily to work.
Without railroads and large industry, the county still has many acres of
untouched forest, sparkling streams, and fertile farms. Here, in Yadkin County, the old exists side-by-side with the new. It is
almost an island of quiet beauty in the modern industrial world.
Parks and Sites of Natural Beauty
underlined words for links to more information)
The Yadkin River – This ancient river begins in the Blue
Ridge Mountains near Blowing Rock.
The river flows east then turns southward along the eastern portion of Yadkin
County. It continues south to become known as the Pee
Dee River in South
river empties in the Atlantic Ocean. For an account of
Rev. Douglas Rights’ voyage down the Yadkin
River from its origins to the Atlantic
Ocean, see: A
Voyage Down the Yadkin-Great Peedee
River - 1928
The Shallow Ford - The famous Shallow Ford of the Yadkin
River lies about ¼ mile south of the bridge that spans the river near Huntsville. Because it was shallow, this crossing was
used for centuries by various Indians.
It was one of the places where countless pioneers could cross the river
as they traveled down the Great Philadelphia Wagon
Road from Maryland,
Pennsylvania and Virginia
to settle in the Yadkin River
Valley. The Shallow Ford was used by Morgan Bryan,
Squire Boone, and his famous son, Daniel.
Nearby several skirmishes were fought during the American Revolution in
1780. The British general, Lord
Cornwallis, crossed here in his pursuit of American General Nathanael
Greene. Shortly thereafter, those two forces clashed at Guilford
Courthouse. During the War Between the
States (the American Civil War), detachments of General George Stoneman’s Union
cavalry crossed here several times in the spring of 1865, shortly before the
war ended. The local Home Guard could do
little to stop these Federal troops from raiding plantations and burning the
Red Store in the Huntsville area before the moved. The Union soldiers planned
to liberate prisoners held at Salisbury
in the Confederate prison, but by the time they arrived, the prisoners had
already been transferred elsewhere.
Bean Shoals - Northeast of East Bend is a
very shallow area of the Yadkin River
which runs over bed rock. Just across the river, a canal was begun in the 1850s
to facilitate commerce on the river, but the project was abandoned due to
financial problems. This was in the era
before dynamite had been invented.
tourist attraction is Horne Creek Living
The Brushy Mountains – A low chain of mountains that spans 5 North
Carolina Counties begins in the western part of Yadkin
County, which is actually part of
the Blue Ridge Mountains. The “Brushies”
are known for the many apple orchargs. For more information
Shore-Styers Mill Park – Located 4 miles east of Yadkinville between Old
Highway 421 and Shacktown
Road, the park features walking trails and a view
of the waterfall on North Deep Creek.
For more information see: Shore-Styers Mill Park
fall on North Deep Creek at the Shore-Styers Mill Park.
Richmond Hill Nature Park – This park surrounds
the home of Judge R. M. Pearson (“Richmond Hill”).
Also included are two picnic shelters, hiking trails filled with a variety of
trees and plants in this wilderness area adjacent to the Yadkin
Yadkin County Park - Just east of Yadkinville, and
easily accessible from New Highway 421, the park has picnic tables, fishing
lakes, hiking trails, The Ted Williams amphitheater, and areas for athletic
competition. Near the entrance is an
outdoor swimming pool. The Yadkin
Family YMCA (membership required), located at the park entrance, has an indoor
heated poor, indoor basketball court, and various exercise equipment.
(*= site or building is listed on the National
Register of Historic Buildings/Sites)
*“Richmond Hill” - Home of North Carolina Chief Justice
Richmond Mumford Pearson, and where he conducted his lawschool from the mid 1850s for over 20 years until his
death. It is near the Yadkin
River and across from Rockford,
once the county seat of Surry County. Pearson’s students lived in little log cabins
or boarded at neighboring homes. Some
stayed at homes in Rockford, and
rowed across the river to attend Pearson’s lectures. He reported taught law to 1,000 young men.
Guided tours of this beautifully
restored home are given the 3rd Sunday in each month, or by
reservation. Picnic shelters may also be reserved. Call (336) 699-3921 or (336) 367-3200 to make
Hill,” was built by Richmond Mumford
Pearson, Chief Justice of the
North Carolina Supreme Court. Pearson
was noted for his writs of habeas corpus which
he issued to obtain the release of men arrested for draft-dodging during the
Civil War. He also presided at the
impeachment trial of Governor William W. Holden, during the Reconstruction period.
Justice Richmond M. Pearson
Rockford (in Surry County) - A
few miles away from the Pearson home is the little village
of Rockford. Places of interest are the Rockford County Store,
and several craft shops open weekdays and weekends (except Tuesday). This is an
historic old town well worth seeing.
Andrew Jackson once stayed at the hotel there before he became famous as
“Old Hickory” or as President of the United
Butner Mill – The
machinery in this towering old mill has been restored and the owner grinds a
small amount of corn each year. Nearby
is the miller’s house with ornate decorative trim. The mill is located on Butner Mill Road, which turns
off Highway 67, and is open only by appointment. Contact the owner, John Pruett, (336)
The Butner Mill, located on Butner Mill Road near East
south on Butner Mill Road to what was once the town of Shore. Although no town
exists there now, it was incorporated by the Shore family in order to continue
running their distilleries after some of the prohibition laws were passed. Earnie Shore, a famous baseball pitcher who played with the Boston
Red Sox was born there. He was later
Sheriff of Forsyth County and the ball park there was named after him.
Yadkin County Vineyards - Yadkin
County is once again becoming noted
for its fine wines grown in vineyards through the county. The Nathan Craft
Vineyard near Flint Hill won the prize for the best wine at the Paris
Exposition over a century ago in 1889.
The modern vineyards and wineries
Lassie Vineyards 3724 Rag Apple Lassie Lane, Boonville, (336) 367-600; Flint
Hill Vineyards 2133 Flint Hill Road, East Bend (336) 699-4455; Hanover
Park Vineyard, 1927
Courtney-Huntsville Road, Yadkinville (336) 463-2875; Laurel Gray Vineyards 5726 Old U. S. Hwy.
421, Hamptonville (336) 468-8463; and Buck Shoals Vineyard (336)468-9274.
For more information, see individual websites
or contact Yadkin County Chamber of
Tours of the Yadkin
County vineyards can be scheduled
at Yadkin Wine Tours For tours of not
only Yadkin but surrounding counties in the Yadkin
Valley area are available as well. Contact Yadkin
Valley Wine Trail
Shallowford Popcorn Farms – This family owned
business grows, harvests asnd produces p[opcorn. The gift shop features a
variety of popcorn flavors ideal for special gifts. Web site =
Shallowford Popcorn Farms. Telephone 1-800-892-5938 or
(336) 463-5938. Open Monday thru
Friday. While here, a trip through the
ancient town of Huntsville is
Huntsville – The
oldest community in the county was begun shortly after 1750 with the arrival of
Abraham Creson, Isaac Feree,
and George Forbush who settled near the Shallow
Ford. Just a few miles to the south in
what is now Davie County
was the Bryan Settlement,
where some of the Morgan Bryan and Squire Boone families
opened at store near the road that came up the hill from the Shallow Ford. He was also involved in the Regulators War,
was arrested, but released. At his death, some of his property was sold to
Charles Hunt. Hunt had it surveyed and
laid out in half-acre lots for a town to be named after him, Huntsville. The
town prospered and was the center of commerce until Yadkin
County was formed and Yadkinville
was designated the county seat. Only a few
of the grand houses in the Huntsville
The “White” House, built between 1795-1801, has been restored
and is on the National Register. It may
be seen by appointment only.
United States Congressman and
later Confederate Brigadier
General Thomas Lanier Clingman grew up in this
Good country food can be found at the nearby Battle Branch
Restaurant in the center of what was once the town of Huntsville.
Mulberry Fields Road - Other places of interest in the Huntsville
area are the Big Poplar Tree, site of a skirmish between Tories and Patriots on
October 14, 1780. Remnants of the old Mulberry Fields Road can
be seen near the huge tree. One
Patriot, Captain Henry Francis is buried there. Recently, descendants of
Captain Francis placed a new and corrected tombstone at his grave. Since that time, the nearby creek has been
called Battle Branch.
few feet away on the north side of the Mulberry Fields Road 14 Tories are
believed to have been buried. In the
spring of 1781, British General Lord Cornwallis traveled this same road in his
pursuit of America
General Nathanael Greene. Greene had crossed at the Trading Ford, but
because of spring rains, Cornwallis had to move up the west bank of the Yadkin
River to cross at the Shallow Ford.
Fortunately, this gave Greene time to reach Virginia
and raise more troops.
Cornwallis and his British troops
passed by the Big Poplar Tree. Local tradition holds that Cornwallis either
shot the top of the tree or, or that the tree was small, and his horse nibble
out the topmost branches. A more likely story is that the tree (over 250 years
old) was struck by lightening.
the intersection of High Street and the Mulberry
Fields Road, in 1913, the Daughters of the American
Revolution placed a marker to commemorate the Daniel Boone Trail. Boone settled in nearby Davie
County in the 1750s, and for the
next 25 or 30 years, he roamed the Yadkin
Valley in search of game. Boone
later blazed the Wilderness Road and established Fort
Boonesborough in Kentucky.
Store - This old building, 105
E. Main Street, East Bend,
was once a general merchandise store. It was
featured in the award-winning motion picture, Two Brothers, produced by the Winston-Salem
School of the Arts in 2003.
The building is on the National
Register of Historic Buildings, and has recently been reopened as a restaurant,
For more information concerning business hours, call (336) 699-4898.
Nearby are other Victorian-style
was once the site of the Huff Buggy Factory (1873-1920), which was once the
largest buggy factory in the South. East
Bend was also the site of the Morse & Wade Tobacco Sack
Co. The work on the little bags or
pouches, which were later filled with smoking tobacco, was done by local
women. Some of the work was farmed out
to women and children in their homes.
This was one of the few occupations open to women in the
early1900s. The Yadkin Valley Hotel
building in which some of the work was done was recently demolished.
is famous for its God & Country celebration, which is held annually the Saturday
before the 4th of July. Featured is a huge
parade, music, crafts, and a day of entertainment at the local school.
Yadkinville, The County Seat – The town of Yadkinville,
first called Wilson, was created to
serve as the county seat after Yadkin was formed from Surry. Located at the intersection of Highways 601
and 421, the town continues to serve as the governmental center. For visitors, accommodations are available at
several motels and a bed and breakfast.
The numerous restaurants offer a variety of foods from fast-food
restaurants, to Italian and Mexican cuisine, to seafood and country
cooking. Each year, Yadkinville hosts a
celebration on the Fourth of July. In mid September, the annual Harvest
Festival is held with music, arts and crafts, and family-type entertainment. The
Christmas Parade is takes place in early December.
About three miles north of
Yadkinville is the site of the Bond School House. A
shootout occurred there in February of 1863 between the militia, led
by Captain James West, and 16 men inside the school house, who were either
deserters or draft-dodgers. When the
shooting stopped, four men were dead, including Captain West. Several others
wounded. The “conscripts,” led by Jesse Dobbins, fled across the mountains and
some of the joined the Union Army. Although
those inside the school were indicted,
after the war, when Jesse Dobbins returned to Yadkinville he brought
Federal troops with him who demanded that county officials drop any charges
against Dobbins and the others involved.
For more information on this and other events in Yadkin
County during the Civil War, see The Civil War and Yadkin County, North
Carolina, by Frances H. Casstevens.
Hamptonville – The town of Hamptonville
was established in 1806 on 50 acres set aside for the town by Henry Hampton.
Members of the Hampton family came
from England in
the 1600s and some of the descendants reached national prominence (i.e.,
Confederate General Wade Hampton). The
original Hampton house still stands
on what was once a stage road from Salem
Another famous resident was Alfred “Teen” Blackburn.
Blackburn had been a slave who went with his master, Augustus
fight in the War Between the States at Manassas. Alfred served as a cook, bodyguard, and helper.
For his service, he drew a pension from the state of North Carolina Later,
Alfred learned to read, and began carrying the mail in the 1880s between
Jonesville and Hamptonville. He carried
the mail on foot, then with the aid of a horse and buggy. Alfred was one of the few who lived to tell
about Stoneman’s Cavalry riding through Hamptonville.
Alfred Blackburn became the last Confederate soldier in the state when he died
in 1951 when he was almost 110 years old.
Flat Rock Baptist Church near Hamptonville
has continued as a church since the late 1700s.
Many members of outstanding families are buried in the cemetery,
including Henry Hampton, the first sheriff of Yadkin County and founder of the
John A. Hampton, Captain James West (killed at the Bond School House); Captain
Robert Duvall, who was involved in the first naval battle between Confederate
and Union ships; and Josiah Cowles,
early businessman from Connecticut, and members of his family. There are at least 25 Confederate veterans
Jonesville – This town had its origins in the iron ore mining
that began the 1700s. Several mine
tunnels were recently located under the streets of the town. Just across the river from Elkin in Surry
County, Jonesville (originally Martinsborough) was established in by in 1811. It soon grew to prominence because of the
Jonesville Male and Female Academy,
which drew students from across the South.
The school was ransacked in the spring of 1865 by soldiers from Union
General George Stoneman’s cavalry.
In 1871, the covered bridge
that connected Jonesville and Elkin across the Yadkin
River was paid for by charging a
toll. It stood until 1913. The new steel bridge that replaced lasted only
three years, and was one of many swept away by the Flood of 1916.
Today, with Interstate 77 passing nearby,
Jonesville has developed into a stopover for area tourist. With several fine hotels and motels,
restaurants, Jonesville is a convenient base for those tourists and travelers
who want to tour vineyards, the mountains, and other area attractions.