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Stokes County

Stokes County, NC



FORMED: 1789

LAND AREA: 448.86 square miles

White: 93.7%
Black/African American: 4.1%    
American Indian: 0.5%        
Asian: 0.4%    
Pacific Islander:  <0.1%
Two or more races: 1.3%
Hispanic/Latino: 3.3% (of any race)

From State & County QuickFacts, US Census Bureau, 2020.


Stokes County

Piedmont region


REGION: Piedmont
RIVER BASIN: Roanoke, Yadkin-Pee Dee, Map
NEIGHBORING COUNTIES: Forsyth, Rockingham, Surry

Stokes County, NC

See also: North Carolina Counties (to access links to NCpedia articles for all 100 counties)

by Jay Mazzocchi, 2006

Stokes County, located in the Piedmont region of north central North Carolina, was formed in 1789 from Surry County and named for Capt. John Stokes, a Revolutionary War officer and a member of the North Carolina House of Commons. It is partially bordered by the state of Virginia. Early inhabitants of the area included the Saura (Cheraw) and other Siouan Indians; European settlers included the Scotch-Irish and the Moravians and other Germans. The county seat, Danbury, was named after a plantation belonging to Governor Alexander Martin; it was incorporated only in 1957, although it had been considered the county seat since 1849, when it replaced Germantown. Other Stokes County communities include King, Walnut Cove, Pinnacle, Gap, Lawsonville, Prestonville, and Meadows. Hanging Rock State Park is one of Stokes County's most popular natural destinations. Other notable physical features include the Dan and Yadkin Rivers, Beaverdam Creek, Hidden Falls, and Window Falls.

Among the historic sites and landmarks located in Stokes County are Historic Danbury, which preserves several fine examples of early twentieth-century architecture; Moratock Iron Furnace, built in 1843; the Rock House, the ruins of a two-story fieldstone structure built around 1770; and Sheppard's Mill, built in the early twentieth century. County cultural institutions include the Dan River Arts Market and the Stokes Art Council. The county hosts several festivals and annual events, such as the Stokes County Agricultural Fair, Kingfest, Festival on the Dan, King Christmas Parade, the Stokes County Craft Fair, and the Stokes Stomp.

Stokes County generates forest products and agricultural commodities such as tobacco, livestock, and corn. Manufactured products include copper tubing, elastic, cotton yarn, and medical equipment. The estimated population of Stokes County was just under 46,000 in 2004.

Annotated history of Stokes County's formation:

For an annotated history of the county's formation, with the laws affecting the county, boundary lines and changes, and other origin information, visit these references in The Formation of the North Carolina Counties (Corbitt, 2000), available online at North Carolina Digital Collections (note, there may be additional items of interest for the county not listed here):

County formation history:

Index entry for the county:

Additional resources:

Corbitt, David Leroy. 2000. The formation of the North Carolina counties, 1663-1943 (accessed June 20, 2017).

Stokes County Government:

Stokes County Economic Development:

Stokes County resources, NC Digital Heritage Center:

North Carolina Digital Collections (explore by place, time period, format):

Image credits:

Rudersdorf, Amy. 2010. "NC County Maps." Government & Heritage Library, State Library of North Carolina.

Origin - location: 


In what part of Stokes county was the community named Saxon? I know that there was a post office there until 1912, but I have searched maps for the location of the community, and have not located it. Thanks.

Hi John!

Thank you for your comment - that is a great question! According to the North Carolina Gazetteer, a dictionary of North Carolina place names, it looks like Saxon, NC was located in the Eastern part of the county from 1891-1912: 

I don't know if you've ever looked into Stout Maps and indexes before, but those are great for searching for historic place names. You can read more about Stout Maps here: You might want to see if a library near you has access to Stokes County Stout Maps or that particular index. Libraries in the county itself might have them. You might also be able to get access to them through Interlibrary Loan if a library near you participates in that service and does not have the index or maps at their location.

I hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any questions. Best wishes!

Taylor Thompson, Government & Heritage Library

Was there an Indian settlement called Goinstown in Stokes county? I heard there was an Indian school there as late as the mid 1950's. Are there any records as to what tribe may have been there?
Saura? Saponi? Cherokee? Thank you."

Dear James,

Thank you for visiting NCpedia and for sharing your posts. I have replied to your first post and have also sent you an email at the address you included in your post with some additional information.

Please feel free to post again if you have additional questions.

Best wishes,

Kelly Agan, Government & Heritage Library

i finished my test because ncpedia

stokes is awsome

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