James McNeely and the State Archives of North Carolina

The State Archives of North Carolina website is a treasure chest of information. The site describes the State Archives, a part of the NC Department of Cultural Resources, as functioning to collect, preserve and make available for the public to use historical material.

Searchable databases such as the Manuscript and Archives Records System (MARS catalog) are available online. The blog History for All the People, State Archives of North Carolina blog highlights the work of the staff and interesting things they come across during their work. Such as James McNeely of McDowell County, check it out.

One of the many services available is the Archives Information Circulars, introduction to the resources and areas of research written by the people who know them best – the Archive Staff. Such titles as list below are but a few of the circulars available.

Not only is the State Archives of NC located in Raleigh, but two satielite offices are available, the Outer Banks History Center, that is located in Manteo, on North Carolina’s historic Roanoke Island, documenting the growth of the NC Coast.  The Western Regional Archives is located in Asheville on Riceville road. Collections moved from Raleigh to the Western Regional Archives can be found at Collections.

McDowell County Oral History

I remember several years ago, I had the opportunity to go on a “field trip” with Mrs. Nina Greenlee to the Old Greenlee Cemetary which was actually located near my home.  What an honor to listen as she told story after story of McDowell County and its rich history.

In memory of Mrs. Greenlee and Mrs. Binkie Adams, two of the most knowledgable historians of the county the McDowell County Oral History site carries on their legacy. Celebrating and dedicated to letting future generations to know about their county’s place in history.

One of my cherished videos on the site is that of Mr. Willard Burgin, a 94 year old cousin, who discusses his life growing up in the Crook Creek Community of Old Fort.

Other sections include history of the Carson House, Arts & Crafts, Gold Mining, Donald Anderson Farm and Flood of 1916.

Take a look to discover all the interesting history of your neighbors.


McDowell county is divided into eleven townships:

  1. Crooked Creek
  2. Dysartville,
  3. Nebo
  4. North Cove
  5. Montford Cove
  6. Pleasant Gardens
  7. Woodlawn-Sevier
  8. Sugar Hill
  9. Old Fort
  10. Marion
  11. Glenwood

The county seat is Marion. The other town in the county is Old Fort.

I am looking for history for each of the communities, their churches, fire departments and schools. If you have information that you would like to share, please let me know.