Buncombe County

Named after Colonel Edward Buncombe in 1792 who was a soldier during the American Revolutionary war.  Asheville, its main center of activity received its name after Samuel Ashe, the governor of North Carolina from 1796-1798. The very large area designated as Buncombe County at first included most of what is now Western North Carolina.  So large was it that the county in its early stages was often called The State of Buncombe. Annually an average of 150,000 hogs, driven on foot, passed through Buncombe County.  Today, eleven counties of North Carolina derive their territories from Buncombe.   The county is bisected by the French Broad River which originates in Transylvania county and pursues a northerly course and passes out into Tennessee.  As a mountain stream, it  is a stream of substantial volume and of surprising width.  The general surface of the county is hilly, rather than mountainous, though the mountains are sufficiently dignified and numerous to give an immense character to the landscape.  In the spring of 1825 Jacob Hyatt arrived in Rutherford County to begin his survey of the Speculation lands.  On a previous visit to the region in 1821 he described the journey as long and tedious due to inadequate roads.  Improvements were later made with the opening of the Buncombe Turnpike.  The Turnpike was begun in 1824 and completed three years later.  For some time, it was considered the finest road in Western North Carolina and contributed to the life and progress of the region.  Of the original 407,254 acres that were purchased for resale by Tench Coxe, 36,494 acres were located within Buncombe's preceding  boundaries.

Related Documents:

0001 map
0041 map
0116 map
0302 supporting document
0328 supporting document
0777 map


Corbitt, David Leroy. The Formation of the North Carolina Counties 1633-1943. Raleigh: North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, 1950.

Mull, J. Alex. Tales of Old Burke. Morganton, N.C.: News Herald Press, 1975.

Sondley, F.A. A History of Buncombe County North Carolina. Vol. 1. Asheville: The Advocate Printing Co., 1930.