A History of Danbury, North Carolina

Stokes County Courthouse - Danbury, North Carolina

In 1851, Crawford was established as the county seat of Stokes County. In 1852, Crawford was renamed to Danbury, which as been the county seat ever since.

The town of Danbury was originally founded as "Crawford" on 10 June 1849. Its central location was chosen as the county seat after part of Stokes was split off to form Forsyth County on 16 January 1849. Following construction of a courthouse and growth of the town, the inhabitants became dissatisfied with the name "Crawford" and changed it to "Danbury" in 1852. The name was chosen due to the location of the Dan River and the nearby Rockingham County plantation of Governor Alexander Martin which was named "Danbury Bluff."


Danbury, first called Crawford, was established specifically to serve as the county seat after Forsyth County was separated from Stokes in 1849. During the second half of the nineteenth century, and particularly during the last quarter, Danbury's economy was bolstered by the success of the several mineral springs resorts, particularly Piedmont Springs, which were located in the mountains just outside of town.

Driving north on Hwy 8 & 89 winding around narrow curves you cross over Mill Creek as you enter the small historic town of Danbury, NC. The town was added to the National Register of Historic Places as a Historic District in 1986. The historic district includes the section of town from Mill Creek north to Danbury Cemetery Road.

Within this stretch of town along Main Street you will be able to see the Old Danbury Presbyterian Church built in 1894 (now the Danbury Community Church), the Wilson Fulton House built in 1859 (future home of the Stokes County Historical Society Museum), the Old Bank of Stokes County built in 1910, the Old Courthouse built in 1904 (now the Stokes County Board of Education), and the Old McCanless Hotel built in 1843, as well as many old homes displaying wrap-around porches and two-tiered porches. Also in this historic district, please visit the Town Hall built in 1888, the Old Danbury Jail built 1904, and the Clark Memorial Presbyterian Church built in 1893 (now Riverside Baptist Church).

In the mid 1800s the land where Danbury is now located was predominantly owned by Amos Shackleford, who was a local tavern owner. The legend goes that three commissioners were appointed to relocate the Stokes County seat, which was in the community of Germanton at the time, to the center of Stokes County. So, these three commissioners climbed to the highest point in the area to survey the land for an appropriate spot. They were unable to come to agreement so they retired to Mr. Shackleford's tavern. Mr. Shackleford upon hearing of their mission convinced the commissioners that the best possible place for the county seat was on his land. The town of Danbury was founded in 1849 and is located on the banks of the Dan River, from which it receives its name.


Danbury was granted a U.S. Post Office on January 30, 1851, and its first Postmaster was Don Ferdinand Dalton. It has been in continuous operation ever since inception.


© 2007 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved