The History Museum

of Burke County

Old Burke County 1777

Created on June 1, 1777, out of Rowan County, original documents indicate that Old Burke began its southeast point where the Catawba River intersected the Granville Line at 35° 34´ north, then ran northward with the river to Three Mile Island (Lake Hickory) and due north (highway 16) to the Brushy Mountains (Wilkes County). From here, the line turned northwest to the “crest of the Blue Mountains.” Following the Blue Mountains southwestward (an undetermined line at this date), the western boundry of Old Burke again intersected the Granville Line near present day Swain County. Portions of east Tennessee would be taken from Old Burke in 1796 when the State of Tennessee was established. By 1834, all or part of seventeen western North Carolina counties were taken from the original boundry. These counties were Alexander, Avery, Buncombe, Caldwell, Catawba, Cleveland, Graham, Haywood, Lincoln, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Rutherford, Swain, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey.