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North Carolina Counties

North Carolina is divided into one hundred counties. The establishment of North Carolina counties stretches over 240 years, beginning in 1668 with the creation of Albemarle County and ending with the 1911 creation of Avery and Hoke counties. Five counties have been divided or abolished altogether, the last being Dobbs County in 1791.

Alleghany County, North Carolina

Alleghany County Education, Geography, and HistoryAlleghany County, North Carolina Courthouse

Alleghany County is a county located in the state of North Carolina. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 11,155. Its county seat is Sparta.

Etymology - Origin of Alleghany County Name

It was named for an Indian tribe, and the name is derived from "a corruption of the Delaware Indian name for the Alleghany and Ohio Rivers and is said to have meant "a fine stream."


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Alleghany County History

Alleghany was formed in 1859 from Ashe. It was named for an Indian tribe, and the name is derived from "a corruption of the Delaware Indian name for the Alleghany and Ohio Rivers and is said to have meant "a fine stream." It is in the northwestern section of the State and is bounded by the state of Virginia and Surry, Wilkes and Ashe counties. The present land area is 234.65 square miles and the 2000 population was 10,677. The act creating the county ordered the court to be held at Shiloah Church until the public buildings were erected unless otherwise directed by the justices of the peace. Commissioners were named to locate a site for the county seat at the geographical center of the county, acquire the land, establish the town of Sparta, and erect the courthouse. Sparta is the county seat.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 237 square miles (610 km2), of which 235 square miles (610 km2) is land and 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2) (0.6%) is water. It is the fourth-smallest county in North Carolina by total area.

Alleghany County is located in northwestern North Carolina, and its northern border is with the State of Virginia. The county is located entirely within the Appalachian Mountains region of western North Carolina. Most of the county is located atop a rolling plateau that ranges from 2,500 feet (760 m) to 3,000 feet (910 m) above sea level. The southern border of the county drops abruptly nearly 1,500 feet (460 m) to the Foothills region of North Carolina. The plateau is crossed by numerous hills and mountains. The highest point in the county is Peach Bottom Mountain - Catherine Knob at 4,175 feet (1,273 m) above sea level. The major rivers of Alleghany County are the New River, and the Little River; the latter flows through the town of Sparta, the county seat.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Grayson County, Virginia - north
  • Surry County - east
  • Wilkes County - south
  • Ashe County - west


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