Madison County has a rich history that spans through centuries. What are you interested in? Take a step back in time to Madison County and learn about how our wonderful county became what it is today.

The town of Mars Hill was built around the educational institution which was to become Mars Hill University. And, strolling down Main Street you can feel the influence that still permeates the small downtown area. Owen Theatre on the university campus is the home of the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre which draws theatergoers from the surrounding area. The town has a rich music history as it was the birthplace of Bascom Lamar Lunsford, the “Minstrel of the Appalachians.”  Find out more

The town of Marshall’s history was defined by the French Broad River. The Main Street has the river on one side and a cliff on the other. Transportation routes along the river and the subsequent railroad created a booming economy for the town in the past. The courthouse demonstrates the town’s importance as county seat and the historic Allen House sits amidst historic businesses, both exhibiting architectural beauty. The mix of the government and the eclectic art studios creates a unique atmosphere for the town. Across the bridge, Blannahassett Island provides a peaceful setting for picnics and recreational activities. Find out more

The town of Hot Springs is a jewel in the county, situated where the Appalachian Trail crosses the French Broad River. This haven for outdoor enthusiasts originally was a draw for the rich society in the 1800s because of the natural mineral springs for which the town is named. Not only does the town have natural beauty, but it also has rich music heritage as well as a place in the history of current-day Warren Wilson College in nearby Asheville. To add to that, there is fascinating history with a skirmish during the Civil War and an Internment Camp during World War I. Find out more

The County itself is rich in history from the times of the Cherokee Indians through the colonial settlers and into the Civil War. The County seat boasts a courthouse that is over 100 years old which was designed by the architect of the Biltmore House. And, when you drive out through the rural areas, there is evidence of the important role played in education, medical, and craft history. Trace its history of prosperity as a major route along the French Broad River from the time of the Drovers’ Road through the era of the Railroad.  Find out more