Jonesville, North Carolina

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Jonesville, North Carolina
Location of Jonesville, North Carolina
Location of Jonesville, North Carolina
Coordinates: 36°14′8″N 80°50′32″W / 36.23556°N 80.84222°W / 36.23556; -80.84222Coordinates: 36°14′8″N 80°50′32″W / 36.23556°N 80.84222°W / 36.23556; -80.84222
Country United States
State North Carolina
County Yadkin
 • Total 1.9 sq mi (4.9 km2)
 • Land 1.9 sq mi (4.9 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.1 km2)
Elevation 945 ft (288 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 2,285
 • Density 1,202.6/sq mi (466.3/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 28642
Area code(s) 336
FIPS code 37-34840[1]
GNIS feature ID 0987771[2]

Jonesville, originally called Allen's Settlement, is the oldest town in Yadkin County, North Carolina, United States, and was once recognized as the largest town west of Raleigh. The population was 2,285 at the 2010 census, however, it grew by nearly 800 residents in 2001 when it merged with neighboring Arlington. The county seat is Yadkinville.

Seven local hotels, multiple fast food and conventional restaurants and gas stations are located near I-77 exits (83 and 79). Jonesville offers convenient access to athletic, college, cultural and recreational resources in larger Piedmont cities such as Winston-Salem, Statesville and Charlotte.

Recognized as the Heart of the Yadkin Valley, Jonesville is a gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Yadkin Valley Heritage/Cultural Corridor and to local wineries in the Swan Creek AVA and the larger Yadkin Valley AVA, as well as offering access to the Yadkin river.

The town, situated on the south bank of the Yadkin River, lies beneath Daniel Boone's hunting trails through the Brushy Mountains, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Visitors are served by a state-of-the-art Welcome Center. With retail and specialty shops/services in the immediate area, Jonesville offers an expanding antique mall at exit 83. Within five miles are regional sky diving facilities, an international motorcycle manufacturing plant, a restoration center for vintage cars, a popular herb farm, a History Center and historic park, a medieval reenactment center and a horse ranch specializing in riding lessons and mustang rehabilitation.

A military out-post during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, Jonesville is not a typical "Interstate town." Currently working to preserve its history, it is home to an historic Bicentennial Park (Mineral Springs Park) featuring a Tri-County Veterans' Memorial with 3000+ names of those who have served our nation since pre-Revolutionary War conflicts. The Mineral Springs Park, located along the Yadkin River, was once a respite where multiple wilderness trails converged, approximating highways 67 and 21 through Yadkin County. A recreational park (Swaim Park) with playgrounds, ball fields, tennis courts, walking trails, picnic areas and bandstand adjoin a Senior Center and a Medical Center.

A GreenWay along the Yadkin River is under development. Future plans include reconstructing a functional ferry that operated during the Civil War and establishing a walking trail along the historic woodland routes that converged in historic Mineral Springs Park.

Plans for a vintage craft school for old world arts and crafts are underway.

The Yadkin River divides Jonesville and Elkin. The area is referred to as the Tri-County (Surry, Wilkes, Yadkin) Region and located in the Yadkin Valley AVA, an American Viticultural Area. Wines made from grapes grown in the Yadkin Valley AVA may use the appellation Yadkin Valley on their labels. At least a dozen wineries are located within 15 miles (24 km) of the town.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2), of which, 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (1.05%) is water.

Nearby Town, cities[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 220
1910 621
1920 787 26.7%
1930 1,306 65.9%
1940 1,733 32.7%
1950 1,768 2.0%
1960 1,895 7.2%
1970 1,659 −12.5%
1980 1,752 5.6%
1990 1,549 −11.6%
2000 1,464 −5.5%
2010 2,285 56.1%
Est. 2015 2,257 [3] −1.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[4]

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 1,464 people, 668 households, and 416 families residing in the town. The population density was 780.6 people per square mile (300.7/km²). There were 752 housing units at an average density of 401.0 per square mile (154.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 80.60% White, 16.26% African American, 0.07% Native American, 0.20% Asian, 1.57% from other races, and 1.30% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.51% of the population.

There were 668 households out of which 25.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.1% were married couples living together, 17.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.6% were non-families. 34.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.80.

In the town, the population was spread out with 22.4% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 27.0% from 25 to 44, 23.4% from 45 to 64, and 19.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 79.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $25,543, and the median income for a family was $31,400. Males had a median income of $26,200 versus $20,242 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,528. About 14.7% of families and 17.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.8% of those under age 18 and 17.3% of those age 65 or over.

The town grew by about 1,000 residents after it merged with neighboring town Arlington in 2001. The new town has a population of about 2,250.



Interstate 77 runs through the east of town. The town is accessible off two interstate exits: North Carolina Highway 67/Winston Road and Business U.S. Route 21 in the Arlington area. N.C. 67 is a popular artery linking Jonesville with Winston-Salem.

Until recently, two bridges linked the commercial districts of Jonesville and Elkin, the Hugh G. Chatham Bridge and the newer Gwen McNeill Bridge, less than a mile upstream on Business U.S. 21. The Chatham Bridge, built in 1931 and regarded by many in the area as a community symbol with its tall steel beams, was closed in November 2005 after it failed a state inspection.[5] The North Carolina Department of Transportation does not plan to reopen or replace the bridge. Neither city would take the risk of insuring the bridge so it could be saved as a historic landmark.


Swan Creek Airport, which is privately owned, is southwest of town and is the home of the Carolina Sky Diving School. Elkin Municipal Airport is located in nearby Elkin. Commercial flights are available through Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro and Charlotte Douglas International Airport.


Early history[edit]

Jonesville is Yadkin County's oldest town and was at one time the largest town west of Raleigh, according to An Illustrated History of Yadkin County 1950-1980, by William E. Rutledge Jr.. Initially called Allen's Settlement, after the owner of an early iron ore forge, the settlement was established behind a towering, protective bluff above the south bank of the Yadkin River. It soon became a commercial hub for the region, featuring a trading post, a tannery, medical personnel, a school, grist and lumber mills, a cotton mill and a garrison overlooking the Yadkin Valley that served as an outpost for local militia during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Although a contemporary designation aligns the overmountain trail-head in an adjoining Surry County community, Allen's Settlement—formerly located in Surry County—is now recognized as part of the OverMountain Trail. Based on family journals and oral history, the Settlement and historic Mineral Springs Park are identified as a mustering site for patriots who marched to defeat the British at Kings Mountain.

Allen's Settlement was incorporated as Martinsborough in 1811, but the name was later changed to Jonesville in honor of Hardy Jones (1747–1819). Jones fought in the American Revolution and was instrumental in bringing the Academy to Jonesville. A marker to him is on the lawn of Jonesville United Methodist Church.

In addition to the timber and iron ore markets, the town also grew around the Jonesville Male and Female Academy, according to Rutledge. The academy was affiliated with the North Carolina Conference of the Methodist Church. The Rev. William L. Van Eaton, who was born in Davie County, was principal of the school at its peak in 1859. In its history, the Academy attracted numerous scholars of the era, including Bishop Francis Asbury and Brantley York, subsequent founder of Trinity-Union Institute which was later named Duke University.

On April 1, 1865, troops commanded by Union Brigadier General George Stoneman and Colonel Alvan C. Gillem devastated the town and academy in their search for Confederate soldiers and supplies. In the academy, they broke chandeliers and destroyed school equipment.[6] This marked the end of the school.

Gillem's troops, known as "home Yankees," also ransacked businesses and chased away teachers and military-aged men. Union troops had been told the town was a haven for Confederate spies and military supplies. They failed to find evidence of an Underground Railroad for escaping slaves and deserting soldiers, assumed to be located in private homes and the iron ore caves in Jonesville. The Town never fully recovered.[7]

One of the last pieces of early town history, a house once occupied by Van Eaton that dated back to the 1830s, was torn down in 1996.[8] At the time, it was believed to be the oldest house in town.

On December 21, 1912, two elderly women and a young girl were killed and nearly 100 people were injured after the floor of the Jonesville High School auditorium collapsed during a Christmas concert (Winston-Salem Journal article, Dec. 24, 1912). As the floor of the second-floor auditorium gave way in the center, the audience of at least 300 people dropped to the first floor. Killed were: Nancy Swaim, Mrs. William Smith and Lexie Luffman, a 12-year-old girl. Sam Ray extinguished a fire in a stove in the auditorium as the floor began to collapse, saving many lives (Winston-Salem Journal).

Recent history[edit]

The town experienced unprecedented growth after Interstate 77 opened in 1974. The intersection of Interstate 77 and N.C. 67 (Winston Road) on the east side of town is a popular stop for travelers. It is one of the most developed along the interstate between Statesville and Mount Airy.

In 1980, Jonesville was named a "Governor's Community of Excellence" by Governor Jim Hunt for its economic development work.[9]

Jonesville Police Sgt. Gregory Keith Martin[10] was shot to death on October 5, 1996, on I-77. The case, which has been solved, received national attention on TV's America's Most Wanted in May 2005, January 2006 and June 2006. Martin was the town's first police officer to be shot in the line of duty.[11] On October 3, 2012, 36-year-old Scott Vincent Sica was arrested in Cape Coral, Florida, and charged with first-degree murder.[12] In 2009 The town put up a memorial to Sgt. Martin in front of the new town Hall. Every year there is a memorial ride through Jonesville to honor Sgt. Martin.

In 2009 The town built a multimillion-dollar town hall.[13]

Local media[edit]


Two community newspapers, The Tribune in Elkin and its sister paper The Yadkin Ripple, provide coverage of Jonesville. The Winston-Salem Journal, a larger daily newspaper, also covers the town.


Jonesville is part of the Piedmont Triad radio and television market, but many broadcasts from the Charlotte and Winston-Salem markets can be received as well. The cable provider is Time Warner.

Area events[edit]

  • Jonesville Jubilee is held annually on the first Saturday in May at Lila Swaim Memorial Park and in the Mineral Springs Park. The event celebrates the town's history, heritage and the Veterans' Memorial. A 5K Brushy Mountain Run is held in conjunction with the Jubilee.
  • A Memorial Day program is held on the last Sunday in May to enable residents to participate in other regional programs on Monday.
  • Veterans Day is celebrated on November 10 and features activities to honor veterans, in conjunction with commemorations at the Veterans' Memorial in Mineral Springs Park.
  • A Labor Day Flea Market & Festival, benefiting the Historical Society, is held on Saturday, August 31.
  • A Christmas Craft and Gift Show is held on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving to feature area artists and artisans.
  • The Elkin-Jonesville Christmas Parade has kicked off the holiday season in the area since 1961. The parade route runs through the business districts of both towns and is usually held on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.[14]

Notable people[edit]

  • Dickie Hemric, a basketball player for the Boston Celtics and Wake Forest. Hemric is the second all-time leading scorer in Atlantic Coast Conference history, currently tied with Tyler Hansbrough.[15]
  • Howard Pardue, an All Southern Conference basketball player for Virginia Tech. Pardue was named to the Virginia Tech Athletics Hall of Fame in 1992.[16]
  • Carlos King, a running back for N.C. State who was drafted as a fourth-round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1998. King holds the career rushing record for Starmount High School at 5,321 yards.
  • Erin Bledsoe was crowned America's Miss Dance 2007 at the age of 16, she was the youngest person to win this coveted national title to date, she graduated from Starmount High School.
  • Heather Cox: Singer and popular American Idol Finalist.
  • Barney Hall, Jonesville native and WIFM announcer who became a popular NASCAR radio personality .... lead-anchor in MRN's "voice of NASCAR" .... recipient of the Bill France Award of Excellence in recognition of his distinguished service to NASCAR and broadcasting .... a pilot and an exceptionally talented Olympic-level diver and gymnast .... now retired in Jonesville.
  • Dr. Judith Wolfe, chair of the Jonesville Historical Society, was named 2015 North Carolina Historian of the Year for her work in promoting the storied history and heritage of Jonesville. Wolfe wrote and produced the text and script for a CD about the Jonesville Speedway, a prominent dirt race track in the 1940s and 1950s. She also writes and narrates a series of globally streamed radio programs on three days a week called Jonesville Trails and Tales.

Additional notable people are listed at

References (updated)[edit]

  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ The Civil War and Yadkin County, North Carolina, by Frances H. Casstevens, Page 98
  7. ^ We are Allen's Settlement! A collection of journals and diaries, by Judith W. Wolfe,
  8. ^ "Jonesville's oldest house becomes bonfire fuel," by Jay R. Davis, The Tribune, July 15, 1996
  9. ^ Yadkin County Heritage, Page 32
  10. ^ "America's Most Wanted with John Walsh". AMW. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  11. ^ [2] Archived October 17, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ "FBI — Arrest in Jonesville Officer's 1996 Murder". 1996-10-05. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  13. ^ "Town of Jonesville, North Carolina". Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  14. ^ "Parade hitting the streets Sunday", The Tribune (Elkin, North Carolina), November 21, 2003
  15. ^ [3] Archived February 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ "Hokiesports Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2012-10-06. 

External links/History (updated)[edit]