The county of Alleghany was formed from the eastern part of Ashe County in 1859 and was named for the Alleghany Mountains. Many boundary adjustments have been made over the years with none resulting in a new county. The county seat of Alleghany County is Sparta and the county covers 236 sq. miles of the land. Alleghany County is located in the northwestern part of North Carolina and the county includes part of the Appalachian Mountains. The major rivers of Alleghany County are the New River and the Little River, which actually flows through the town of Sparta.
Most of Alleghany County is located from an elevation of 2,500 – 4,000 feet except the southern border, which drops down to nearly 2,000 feet above sea level. Because of this elevation, Alleghany County will have considerably cooler summers than the lower elevations with the average temperatures rarely rising above 85°F in the summer months, but in the winter you can expect much colder temperatures. During the winter the temperatures will sometimes be in the teens or lower during the daytime, and when the snow falls, it can be quite heavy.
Alleghany County, North Carolina is divided into seven townships. The townships include Cherry Lane, Cranberry, Gap Civil, Glade Creek, Piney Creek, Prathers Creek and Whitehead. Several major highways can be accessed in Alleghany County and those are; US Highway 21 and 221 North Carolina 18, 88, 93 and 113.
There have been and are several prominent people who have and do call Alleghany County home. Among those are Bob Doughton, who was a powerful US Congressman. Bob was also an influential chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and it was his influence that the Blue Ridge Parkway was created, which runs along the county’s eastern and southern borders. Probably his best-known work while in the political office was his major role in the passage of the Social Security Act. His home in Alleghany County is now a popular bed-and-breakfast.
Rufus A. Doughton, who was the brother of Bob, was born in 1857 and had his limelight in the political world as well. He served as the Speaker of North Carolina House of Representatives and also served as Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina from 1893-1897. Alleghany County lost this prominent figure in 1946.
Zach Galifianakis, a popular stand-up comedian and actor who was born in 1969 and splits his time between the farm life in Alleghany County and his work in New York City. So keep your eyes open when visiting, you never know when you just might bump into him on the streets in Alleghany County, North Carolina.