North Wilkesboro began with a simple transaction of land in 1848 between John Finley and Augustus Finley. Four thousand dollars purchased “a certain tract of land” on the north side of the Yadkin River. This was combined with land purchased by the Reddies River to form North Wilkesboro. An agreement signed between Wilkes County Commissioners and North Western North Carolina Railroad Company in 1888 furthered the growth of the fledgling town. North Wilkesboro was incorporated on March 4, 1891.
Towns Across the River
An upstart from the beginning, North Wilkesboro became the center of industry and commerce while across the river, Wilkesboro remained the center of government .The railroad brought a great deal of industry to North Wilkesboro and Wilkes County including the C.C. Smoot Tannery, Winston Land and Improvement Company, and the Giant Lumber Company and Flume. Built around the train’s depot, Downtown North Wilkesboro began to flourish in the late 1890s and early 1900s.
North Wilkesboro Today
Today, North Wilkesboro continues to grow, though in different ways than before. The town continues to be a nexus for small businesses, art, and learning. North Wilkesboro is home to the Wilkes Public Library, Wilkes Art Gallery, and an ever-growing number of shops and restaurants. Look for several restored ghost murals as well as new ones throughout the downtown district.
Historic Downtown North Wilkesboro – Home to galleries, restaurants, and great shops.
Wilkes Art Gallery – a state-of-the-art gallery showcasing artists from the region and state.
Yadkin River Greenway – This Greenway is a natural area between urban communities where wildlife, vegetation, and streams are preserved and enjoyed. Greenways also provide transportation, recreation, and exercise opportunities for the community.
Wilkes County Farmers’ Market located at the Yadkin Valley Marketplace in downtown North Wilkesboro. Season runs from mid-June through September and operates 2 days a week. Tuesday 3:30-5:50 pm and Saturdays 7:30 am-12 noon.
Highland Hills Disc Golf Course – Located at Municipal Park in the Highland Park area of town, the Highland Hills Disc Golf Course offers 18 holes of disc golf.
Historic North Wilkesboro Speedway – Come visit the birthplace of Nascar! The living history of this speedway is worth the visit.
Brushy Mountain Ruritan Apple Festival – Held annually the first Saturday in October.
Light Up Downtown – Held annually the Friday before Thanksgiving.
Historic Holiday Home Tour – Held first Sunday in December presented by the Downtown North Wilkesboro Partnership.
Key to the Blue Ridge Fall Classic Car Show and Swap Meet, sponsored by Wilkes County Cruisers.
Window World Concerts on the Deck – Free outdoor music series held the third Saturday of the month at the Yadkin Valley Marketplace downtown.