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McDowell County

McDowell County is named for Joseph McDowell, who was a soldier in the American Revolutionary War and who took part in the Battle of Kings Mountain.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Yancey CountyMitchell County and Avery County

E – Burke County 

S – Rutherford County

W – Buncombe County and  Yancey County 


Created:  December 19, 1842                Map of North Carolina highlighting McDowell County

County Seat: 

Marion  1842 – present


County Courthouse – Marion  


Location:  495 Main Street / Court Street

Built:  1921 – 1923

Style:  Neo-Classical

Architect:  Eric Gulick Stillwell

Contractor:  Southern Ferro Concrete Company


Description:  The building faces southwest and is a three story yellow-brown colored brick, stone and concrete structure. The rectangular shaped building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Marion.  The southwest front has horizontal brickwork on the first story with a central entrance. On the second and third stories are five large vertical windows. The roof line is flat. In the interior are wide cross halls lined with marble wainscoting which intersect at an octagonal center. Stairs with metal railings are located at the ends of the north and south halls. The courtroom is located on the second story and has a pedimented frontpiece on the wall behind the judge’s bench and pilasters with egg and dart mouldings which divide the window bays. The building houses the County Superior Court and County District Court of the 29th Judicial District. 


See:  National Register of Historic Places – McDowell County Courthouse


See:  The 29th Judicial District includes Henderson County, Polk County, Rutherford County and Transylvania County.


History:  The county was created in 1842 and Marion was selected as the county seat in 1844 when the county was organized. The first courthouse was built in 1844. The building was remodeled in 1902. The architect and contractor was B F Smith Fireproof Construction Company. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1921 to 1923 at a cost of $210,000.



County Courthouse – Marion







Photos taken 2012