The county was formed in 1838 from the southern part of Buncombe County. It was named for Leonard Henderson, Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court from 1829 to 1833.
In 1855 parts of Henderson County and Rutherford County were combined to form Polk County, and in 1861 parts of Henderson County and Jackson County were combined to form Transylvania County.
Henderson County, which in 1861 encompassed present-day Transylvania County as well, contributed 1,296 soldiers to the Confederate States Army out of its approximately 10,000 population, as well as 130 Union troops. (Figures from Terrell T. Garren's "Mountain Myth: Unionism in Western North Carolina, published 2006).
Henderson County government was centered around Hendersonville in the 1905 county courthouse on Main Street, until this structure was replaced by the new Courthouse (c. 1995) on Grove Street in Hendersonville.
The first rail line reached Hendersonville in 1879, ushering in a new era of access to the outside world. However, parts of the county had long been known as retreats, including the "Little Charleston" of Flat Rock, in which South Carolina's Low Country planter families had maintained second homes since the early 19th century.
A major land boom ensued in the 1920s, culminating in the crash of 1929, which severely deflated prices and left structures such as the Fleetwood Hotel atop Jumpoff Mountain incomplete. Population growth in the county has been rapid since the 1960s as a result of an influx from the North, with extensive housing developments now occupying areas that were formerly largely rural.
Other notable historic sites in Henderson County include: the Woodfield Inn (1852), Connemara -- final home of Carl Sandburg (originally known as Rock Hill, the home of CSA Secretary of the Treasury Christopher Memminger) -- and the St. John in the Wilderness Episcopal Church.
DSS Contact Information
Henderson County DSS
1200 Spartanburg Hwy
Hendersonville, NC 28792
Phone: (828) 697-5500 | Fax: (828) 697-4544
Useful web pages