McDowell County was named for Joseph McDowell, . McDowell County is one of 100 counties in North Carolina. The estimated population in 2004 was 43,285. This was an increase of 2.69% from the 2000 census. In 2002, the per capita personal income in McDowell County was $20,951. This was an increase of 12.2% from 1997. The 2002 figure was 68% of the national per capita income, which was $30,906.

Old Fort was named for a fort "Davidson's Fort" built in the 1770s to protect settlers from Cherokee raids, The latitude of Old Fort is 35.628N. The longitude is -82.18W. It is in the Eastern Standard time zone. Elevation is 1,440 feet. It is situated at the base of the Eastern Continental Divide.

    Number       Number   Number
Total population   963            
Square miles (land)   1.25            
Population per square mile   769.43       165.25   79.56
    Number   Pct   Pct   Pct
Male   460   47.8   49.0   49.1
Female   503   52.2   51.0   50.9
    Number   Pct   Pct   Pct
15 or younger   177   18.4   20.5   21.4
16-24   106   11.0   13.9   13.9
25-44   260   27.0   31.1   30.2
45-64   227   23.6   22.5   22.0
65+   193   20.0   12.0   12.4
    Number       Number   Number
Average age (years)   40.48       36.32   36.22
    Number   Pct   Pct   Pct
White   762   79.1   72.1   75.1
Black or African American   166   17.2   21.6   12.3
American Indian and Alaska native   2   0.2   1.2   0.9
Asian   1   0.1   1.4   3.6
Native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander   0   0.0   0.0   0.1
Some other race   8   0.8   2.3   5.5
Two or more races   24   2.5   1.3   2.4
Hispanic or Latino   16   1.7   4.7   12.5
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Census; ePodunk
    Number       Number   Number
Total housing units   496            
    Number   Pct   Pct   Pct
Renter-occupied housing units   168   33.9   27.2   30.8
    Number       Number   Number
Average number of household members   2.24       2.34   2.36
Average number of rooms   4.51       4.35   4.04
Average number of vehicles   1.11       1.32   1.19
Median year structure was built   1971       1975   1969
Median year householder moved in   1996       1998   1998
Median rent ($)   254       431   519
Median rent asked for vacant units ($)   231       440   469
    Number   Pct   Pct   Pct
Rent includes utilities   18   10.7   13.9   16.5
    Number       Number   Number
Rent as a pct of household revenue   22.1       24.3   25.5
    Number   Pct   Pct   Pct
Owner-occupied housing units   267   53.8   61.6   60.2
    Number       Number   Number
Average number of household members   2.15       2.56   2.71
Average number of rooms   5.65       6.16   6.30
Average number of vehicles   1.84       1.61   1.64
Median year structure was built   1966       1979   1971
Median year householder moved in   1990       1991   1991
Median value ($)   46,400       95,800   111,800
    Number   Pct   Pct   Pct
With mortgage or contract to purchase   62   23.2   51.4   55.4
With second mortgage, equity loan   18   6.7   14.8   12.7
    Number       Number   Number
Median price asked for vacant housing ($)   22,500       97,500   89,600
Monthly cost, with mortgage ($)   700       985   1,088
Monthly cost, without mortgage ($)   197       254   295
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Census; ePodunk

Copied from the Public Laws of the State of North Carolina, Passed by the General Assembly at its Session 1871-72. Begun and held in the City of Raleigh , on the Twentieth Day of November, 1871. Theo. N. Ramsay, State Printer and Binder. Digitized by Google Books


Chapter LXX


SECTION 1. The General Assembly of North Carolina do enact, That the town of Catawba Vale, in the county of McDowell, be and the same is hereby incorporated by the name and style of the town of Catawba Vale, and be subject to all the provisions contained in the one hundredth and eleventh chapter of the revised code, not inconsistent with the constitution and laws of this state, also subject to the general law in relation to corporations.

SEC. 2. That the corporate limits of said town shall be as follows: Beginning at a stake one half mile north of the depot of the Western North Carolina Railroad Company, running east, one mile to a stake or natural object; thence south one and a half miles; thence west one and a half miles; thence north one and a half miles, thence east one-half mile to the beginning, which shall be the corporate limits of said town.

SEC.3. That the officers of said incorporation shall consist of a mayor, five commissioners and marshal; that S. Worthen, mayor, J.H. Bondman, J.C. Haight, O.A. Steadman, A.D. Haight, S.S. Mooney, commissioners, and W.V. Spencer, marshal, shall constitute the board of officers until the time for the regular election of officers of municipal corporations, at which time an election shall be held as prescribed by law in like cases.

SEC. 4. It shall be the duty of the board, consisting of the above named commissioners, to meet within twenty days after the ratification of this act, and take the same oath that is prescribed in the constitution for state officers.

SEC. 5. That said commissioners shall have power to pass all by-laws, rules and regulations for the good government of the corporation, not inconsistent with the laws of this state or of the United States.

SEC. 6. That the commissioners shall have power to levy a tax, not to exceed seventy-five cents on the poll, nor twenty-five cents on the one hundred dollars worth of property.

SEC. 7. The commissioners shall have power to appoint their officers, require bonds when the same may be deemed necessary, in such amounts as may be deemed expedient to ensure the faithful performance of their respective duties, bonds of not less than two hundred dollars.

SEC. 8. That the mayor, before entering upon his duties, shall take the same oath as justice of the peace, and the same shall be registered upon the books of the corporation.

SEC. 9. There shall be a secretary appointed by the commissioners, who shall keep a true and correct record of all the proceedings of the board of commissioners and acts of the mayor.

SEC. 10. That the marshal, before entering into office, shall go before some person authorized to administer an oath, and take the oath usually taken by constables.

SEC. 11. That all laws coming in conflict with this act are hereby repealed.

SEC. 12. This act shall be in force from and after its ratification.

Ratified the 25th day of January, A.D. 1872