Jackson County Courthouse
One of the most photographed buildings in North Carolina, this historic courthouse was completed in 1914.
Overlooking Sylva’s charming Main Street, the Jackson County Courthouse was built by entrepreneur CJ Harris, who promised voters he would construct a new courthouse for $30,000 if they would support his ballot initiative to remove the county seat from Webster in favor of Sylva, which was located on the railroad line and rapidly becoming a regional industrial center.
The Jackson County Courthouse remained the county’s governmental seat until 1994 and was the home of the county Sheriff’s Office from 1995 until 2003. Commissioners decided in 2007 to incorporate the deteriorating courthouse into the Jackson County Library, and the historic structure was completely refurbished during library’s construction.
The new 26,000-square-foot library opened in 2011, and its courthouse wing is now home to the Jackson County Genealogical Society’s office and reference library as well as the Jackson County Historical Association’s museum.
The former lobby is now used for a gallery by the Jackson County Arts Council, and the former second-floor courtroom now provides a space for community dances and concerts as well as other programs and events, including weddings.