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Rutherford County

Rutherford County is named for Griffith Rutherford, who was an officer in the American Revolutionary War, a political leader in North Carolina and lived from 1721 to 1805.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Buncombe CountyMcDowell County and Burke County 

E – Cleveland County

S – Cherokee County, South Carolina and Spartanburg County, South Carolina

W – Polk County and Henderson County


Created:  April 1, 1779                           Map of North Carolina highlighting Rutherford County

County Seat: 

Joseph Walker Home  1779 – 1781

Shepherd’s Creek        1781 – 1785

Rutherfordton              1785 – present


County Courthouse – Rutherfordton


Location:  229 North Main Street / 2nd Street

Built:  1925 – 1927

Style:  Renaissance

Architect:  Louis H Ashbury of Charlotte

Contractor:  Southeastern Construction Company


Description:  The building faces east and is a two story light gray colored limestone and concrete structure. The rectangular shaped building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Rutherfordton and has a wide porch with six large columns rising to a header at the roof line. The entrance is recessed and framed with stone. The recessed second story windows are arched. A stone balustrade runs across the top of the porch and has a clock set above the centre. Wide steps descend from the first story. In the interior, the first story has a cross hall plan. There are beamed ceilings, marble wainscoting and classically inspired globe lights. At the ends of the hall, iron stairs ascend to the second story and the two courtrooms. The building houses the County Superior Court and County District Court of the 29th Judicial District. The Courthouse Annex is a one story red colored brick structure located to the north.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Rutherford County Courthouse


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


History:  The county was created in 1779 and Shepherd’s Creek was selected as the county seat in 1781. The first court met at the home of Joseph Walker Home. The first courthouse was a temporary structure erected on the land of James Holland at Shepherd’s Creek in 1781. The county seat was moved to Rutherfordton in 1785 and the second courthouse was built in 1785. The third courthouse was a two story structure built in 1835 to 1836 and was destroyed by fire on December 24, 1907. The fourth courthouse was a two story structure designed by H L Lewman and constructed by Falls City Construction in 1907 to 1908. The fifth and present courthouse was constructed in 1925 to 1926 at a cost of $187,400.



County Courthouse – Rutherfordton















Picture 1908 County Courthouse



Commissioner Minuted 1925



County Courthouse Annex – Rutherfordton



Photos taken 2008 and 2012