There is uniqueness to the county’s landscape. The straightest lines in the county fall to the north as it borders the State of Virginia. The County jaggedly enters the State’s foothills region on the south and also marks the Eastern Continental Divide. Incorporated just before the Civil War in 1859, Alleghany County was formed from lands in eastern Ashe County, its neighbor.Aptly named for the Indian word meaning “Good River”, the land is richly veined with mountain streams and wide placid rivers.
Alleghany actually has two vivid rivers that run through the county. The New River, noted for being one of the two oldest rivers in North America, and the Little River, one of the New River’s tributaries. Both are peaceful havens for rafting, canoeing, kayaking and fresh water fishing. If living a lifestyle where a “river runs through it” is right for you, then Alleghany has much to offer.
Town of Sparta, NC
The Little River runs right through Sparta, the county seat. Charming Sparta, NC, its courthouse is one of several buildings in Alleghany listed on the National Registry of Historical Places. The town is still quaint and possesses the spirit of another era.
Experiencing a revitalized flare for all things handmade or vintage, Sparta is overwhelmingly a collective of art galleries, authentic crafts and antique vendors. The community’s artistic cooperation is evident in storefronts on Main Street where painters and craftsman join forces to showcase their wares. Pottery and quilts, a vintage Farmers Hardware where penny nails are still sold by the pound, as well as local coffee roasters and eclectic ice cream shops line the brick front buildings that date back to the turn of the last century.
The Alleghany Jubilee is the place to be for live music entertaining folks with the old-time traditions of bluegrass, country and folk.
Alleghany architecture ranges from charming stone homes and bungalow style artisanship to Victorian-era farm homes and mid-century ramblers. Each is as unique as the property it sits on. Mountain and river log homes grace the countryside and even newer versions of the traditional favorites continue to be popular such as farmhouses.
Besides the town of Sparta, the County comprises of five townships; Prather’s Creek, Piney Creek, Gap Civil, Glade Creek and Cherry Lane make up the communities that encompass the surrounding area. These crossroad townships are comprised of a post office, perhaps a church or a country school and often there is a general store for the convenience of its few residents.
Because of its history, Sparta and the surrounding county lands offer an authentic glimpse of the past and refuge for those seeking wide-open spaces and a little bit of wilderness.
Most of the county remains pristinely posed with fully forested mountain ridges, river valleys and sweeping meadow and pasturelands. Farming remains a viable economy with the production of grains and fruits in abundance.There are two primary valleys in the region, the Little River Valley on the south and Prather’s Creek and Elk Creek on the north.
Alleghany County was part of the land surveyed by Thomas Jefferson’s father, Peter Jefferson, during the early 1700s when the land was established as a part of Ashe County. Though the land was rich with Oak, Poplar, Maple and Hickory hardwoods, fertile soil with grasslands and good hunting grounds, few settlers would venture into the area until the Cherokee and Shawnee people were driven from their lands. It was not until the 1770’s when failing treaties between the British and the Cherokee drove the native people away, that the area made home to several European frontiersman.
By 1800, the population had expanded ten-fold. By the time the county incorporated in 1859, the mountain farming communities were thriving. As with much of the Southern States during the Civil War, the county lost a third of its military-aged men, almost one son in every family.
After the war, roads deteriorated and most folks simply withdrew to their own communities. New settlers to the area were few and far between. With little accessibility, Alleghany County, as well as Ashe County, became known as the “Lost Provinces” of North Carolina. It was commonly remarked, in order to get to there, you had to be born there.
Alleghany County is one of the few counties on the Eastern Seaboard that can still claim a perpetuation of the past. Because of its enduring heritage over the last two centuries, the land is picturesque, clean, and overwhelmingly untouched.
To the south of the county, you’ll find a National Natural Landmark at Stone Mountain State Park. This 600 foot granite dome is a magnificent site on over 14,000 acres of pristine mountain land that includes over eighteen miles of walking trails and twenty miles of designated trout waters. The waterfalls at this jaw dropping national site are in excess of 200 feet in height of sheer granite and water. The mountain is vibrant with white tailed deer who come from the refuge of the mountain forests to eat in the meadowlands of the park.
The construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway started at Alleghany’s own Cumberland Knob in the fall of 1935 bringing with it accessibility to tourists and visitors from near and far. Since then, several state routes and byways were constructed to traverse the county.
Boasting the smallest population in the High Country counties, Alleghany’s 11,500 full time residents revel in the peace and tranquility of quiet mountain living. Annual events such as Luke Fest and the Mountain Heritage Festival remain a favorite year after year and nearby attractions and activities make the county perfect for year round outdoor adventure.
Alleghany County offers some of the State’s best kept spots for fishing, hunting, and camping. Public amenities such as the county’s tennis courts and pool provide additional recreation.
Real Estate Values
Alleghany County has some of the best real estate values available in the North Carolina Mountains. If you are in search of acreage for your dream home or estate, Ashe High Country Realty offers parcels within the county that range from two acres to large tracts of land. Perfect for a retreat, retirement, or raising a family, Alleghany County offers the best of modern living in the quaintness of a preserved rural environment. If you seek a home in the country, look to Alleghany for off the beaten path appeal.
Ashe High Country Realty
Ashe High Country Realty is proud to have an active real estate agent on our team who is a native of Alleghany County, Chris Jones. Chris and his wife, Mildred, live in Sparta and Chris serves on the Town Council for the town of Sparta. Chris has a vast knowledge of the area and with the many properties that are for sale in Sparta and the surrounding area.
Ashe High Country Realty can provide you with the capable assistance and expertise needed to assist in fulfilling your real estate dreams. Our talented and exceptional team of Realtors and Brokers can guide you with over 25 years of local knowledge, service and proven results.