Fort Defiance, near Lenoir, is a historic home built by a Revolutionary War hero in 1792 that has been restored to its 18th and 19th century splendor.
The house features over 300 pieces of original furnishings and historic artifacts. The five-acre property includes fine beech and hybrid chestnut trees, a 200-year old boxwood garden, and a family cemetery. Visitors can take guided tours and have a picnic on the grounds.
Home to a Revolutionary War Hero
Fort Defiance was the home of General William Lenoir, a major general in the North Carolina militia, who gained fame through his written account of the Battle of Kings Mountain, a pivotal victory for the American colonies during the Revolutionary War. Before the war, General Lenoir built a fort on the banks of the Yadkin River to protect settlers against the attacks of Cherokee Indians. Between 1788 and 1792, he built his home on the same site and named it Fort Defiance, in remembrance of the original fort.
A surveyor by profession, Lenoir later served as a state legislator, president of the Council of State, and president of the first Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina. The City of Lenoir and Lenoir County are named in his honor.
Several generations of the Lenoir family lived in the house. Fort Defiance was purchased for restoration in 1965.
Hours of Operation
April-October: Thursday – Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm, and Sunday, 1 pm – 5 pm
November-March: Weekends only or by appointment.
A small admission fee is charged.