Jackson County Courthouse
Climb 107 stairs to snap a photo overlooking downtown Sylva and the mountain backdrop at the most photographed courthouse in NC. Step inside to learn about the beauty and history behind the building.
As you walk along Sylva's Main Street, you are greeted by the stately Jackson County Courthouse at the end of the street. Constructed in 1914, this historic building is home to the public library and features rotating exhibits that offer visitors a look at the county's history and mountain culture. The community room, formerly the historic courthouse, is now the home of many free music concerts, performances, and community theater. Listed as the first stop on the Sylva Heritage Walk, guided tours of the courthouse are available through the Jackson County Museum, Arts Council and Genealogical Society, which is open daily in the rotunda of the historic building. Make the trek to the top of the courthouse stairs and look back to enjoy the picturesque town of Sylva and mountain vistas in the distance.
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.