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Elkin History

Elkin History Articles
David Allen's Iron Works
Old Elkin Photos
Maps of Elkin

  • Elkin History Articles

    Elkin History - Part 1 - The earliest instances of the word "Elkin" and where that word might come from. [Feb 2022]

    Elkin History - Part 2 - David Allen's Iron Works. [Feb 2022]

    Elkin History - Part 3 - Mills and factories at the old iron works site as seen in old photos. [Jan 2022]

    Elkin History - Part 4 - Bridges over the Yadkin River and Big Elkin Creek as seen in old photos. [soon]

  • David Allen's Iron Works on the Big Elkin

    David Allen arrived in what is now Surry County (then Rowan County) before 1768. He and his family likely came from New Jersey since his son's (David Jr's) Revolutionary pension request states that he was born there about 1760. By 1772 David Allen Sr had started an iron works on the Big Elkin Creek that played a crucial part in the War for Independence. Not only was the operation producing iron for tools and weapons, but it also served as an informal meeting location for troops. David Allen sold the property in 1785, but production at the iron works likely continued into the 1800s under other managers.

    Read about Elihu Ayers who provided first-hand knowledge of the iron works in his 1833 Revolutionary War pension request.

    If you have questions or comments about David Allen's Iron Works, please contact me.

    1. 9/23/2019 Slide Show Presentation About the Iron Works (pdf)
      Shown during the meeting at the library with interested members of the community.

    2. 3/23/2022 Slide Show Presentation About the Iron Works and how it affected future development in Elkin (pdf)
      Shown at the Yadkin Valley Rotary Club.

    3. Approximate location of the Iron Works
      The Iron Works was along east side of the Big Elkin, just south of the Market St bridge near the current dam above the library. (updated 3/17/21)

    4. Time Line
      This is an all-inclusive list of events involving the iron works on the Big Elkin. According to a 1922 history article in the Winston-Salem Journal, the iron works continued operations until a flood washed away the dam. I believe this flood must have occurred sometime after the iron works was shown on a 1798 map, and several years before an 1827 deed referred to it as "Allen's old iron works place". It might have even been before 1809 when a road order also referred to it as "the old iron works".

    5. Map Showing the Iron Works and Land Grants
      The map also shows the property originally owned by David Allen. The star marks the location of the iron works near the library.

    6. In June 2021, a historical marker was installed along the Overmountain Victory Trail overlooking the Big Elkin Creek and the site of the Iron Works. Deeds and slag found in the creek suggest that the furnace(s) were located below the dam, near the old rock wall foundation on the east side of the creek.
      Pictured: Gabe Mitchell, R. G. Absher, Dr. Bill Blackley, Jason Duncan, Doug Mitchell.

      (click to enlarge)

    Records Articles and Publications

  • Old Elkin Photos

    Over 200 old photos of Elkin. Use the white filter bar in the 'Description' column to search for a key word or phrase. [Feb 2022]

  • Maps of Elkin

    1. Old Elkin Plat Book Maps
      (May 2021)
      Download the kmz file for the plat book maps, then double-click it to open the file in Google Earth. Each map can be turned on/off independently. It might take 10 seconds or so for some of the larger ones to load. (You'll need Google Earth installed for this to work. It's free.) This is a Google Earth file with 11 Elkin maps from the Register of Deeds office overlaid on today's map. There's also one early map of Jonesville from the late 1800s.

      This is an example of what the overlays look like.

      The Elkin maps that were used to generate the Google Earth file are provided below (pdf):
      1. Plat Bk 1, p41 - 1924 - Hillcrest and N. Bridge
      2. Plat Bk 1, p17 - 1922 - Hendrix Ave
      3. Plat Bk 1, p32 - 1922 - Highland Ave
      4. Plat Bk 1, p47 - 1920s - Veneer St
      5. Plat Bk 1, p53 - 1924 - Eller St
      6. Plat Bk 1, p132 - 1929 - Front St
      7. Plat Bk 1, p138 - 1930 - N. Elkin Dr
      8. Plat Bk 1, p157 - 1917 - E. Spring St
      9. Plat Bk 1, p196 - 1939 - Hawthorne
      10. Plat Bk 1, p197 - 1939 - Spring St Ext
      11. Plat Bk 1, p204 - 1891 - Downtown

    2. 1915 Sanborn Insurance Map of Elkin
      (May 2021)
      Download the kmz file for the Sanborn overlay, then double-click it to open it in Google Earth. It might take a few seconds to load. The Sanborn map was drawn in different segments for industries throughout the town. I cut up those segments and arranged the pieces on the map where they should be located. The Shoe Factory location is approximate at the water treatment plant along the Big Elkin Creek. I feel confident about the location of the rest. Just like the item above, this is a Google Earth overlay file.

      These are the two pages of the Sanborn maps that were used to generate the Google Earth file:
      1. 1915 Elkin Sanborn map page 1
      2. 1915 Elkin Sanborn map page 2

    3. Original Land Grants in Elkin
      (9/24/19 - [2021: will be updated soon])
      This includes the downtown area, much of N. Bridge St, and the area south of CC Camp Rd.

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    Jason Duncan
    222 Sundance Cir
    Statesville, NC 28625

    Maintaining a website since April 1995